In an easy candidate for the greatest action movie ever released, Bruce Willis plays John McClane, a New York City cop invited by his separated wife (Bonnie Bedelia) to her place of work in L.A., a forty-story skyscraper, for the company's Christmas party. In an ironic, almost implausible, but very entertaining twist of events, the building is seized by thieves under the guise of terrorists, led by German Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman in one of his most unforgettable roles). And of course, Willis evades the submachine-gun wielding antagonists throughout all forty floors, enduring pain, thrilling near death experiences, and shootout after shootout as he is pitted against the nastiest thieves ever to hit L.A. Aside from the obvious shoot-em-up thrillride, "Die Hard" boasts believable acting, and a plot that roots itself deeper and deeper into the audience's attention as the movie goes on. Willis's ability to make wisecracks amidst bullets and bombs is classic, and his tension with the L.A.P.D. and the F.B.I., locked outside and doing as little as they can to help, is dramatic and entertaining. Inevitably followed by two worthy sequels.
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