When Terrorists take over a high tech office block, this LA crowd find that their only hope is an off duty New York detective.
John McClane (Bruce Willis) is over to visit his wife and kids for the Christmas holidays.
The disappointment of finding that his wife Holly (Bonnie Bedelia) is now using her maiden name and patching up a troubled marriage soon become secondary issues as the company Christmas party is taken over and the guests held hostage.
The German terrorists led by Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) then start trying to break into the huge state-of-the-art vault built into the building. Needing a code to open the safe, as well as bypassing several other locking mechanisms, they kill the company chairman Mr Takagi (Jame Shigeta) when he refuses to co-operate.
McClane, who was resting after his long flight in a side room soon figures out these aren’t terrorists but not-so-petty thieves and becomes a one man rescue mission – picking the hostage takers off one by one his he has to.
Well constructed, high octane action adventure that set the benchmark for a decade. Die Hard is a complete movie in every way. From a well drawn central character, a believable plot, excellent cast through to smallest roles, cringeworthy office politics – the list goes on.
I like the distinct uncomfortable feeling around some of the supporting characters. Special mention to Hart Bochner‘s cocaine fuelled office wide-man and William Atherton‘s sleazy stop-at-nothing reporter.
Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman play magnificently against each other and I always feel the end robs us of a continued adversarial relationship that could have kept people in the cinema year after year. Think Voldemort Vs Potter but with guns, rockets and bombs.
The effects are spectacular, the script is often re-quoted and there is a strong vein of humour running through the piece.
Watch and enjoy.
Things to look out for: “yippee-ki-yay…“, explosive TV, media exploitation, glass, limo and a teddy, twinkies, disabling the telephones, Johnson & Johnson – FBI (not related), “…the quarterback is toast”
Cast: Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia, Hart Bochner, William Atherton
Rating: decent action and script combined, violent and not for children (significant and frequent strong language), but highly recommended
Part of the Die Hard Quadrilogy:
A series that invented the word “quadrilogy” – the correct term is “tetralogy“.