Celebrated as one of the greatest action films of all time, most people are familiar with the phenomenal success of the cult Christmas blockbuster, Die Hard. John McClane is a New York City cop who just wants to spend Christmas with his family in Los Angeles. Upon arrival he gets pulled into a terrorist takeover at his wife’s office Christmas party, and must fight for everyone’s survival, aided by the outside help of L.A. cop Sgt. Powell.
The film serves not only as career defining performances for Willis and Rickman, who made his feature film debut as the brilliant Hans Gruber, but also for director John McTiernan, who has several notable titles to his name. Bonnie Bedelia, Reginald Veljohnson, and Paul Gleeson star amongst others, in a finely chosen cast.
Despite the 80s hair and clothes, and a few minor hiccoughs, Die Hard remains as exciting, eccentric, and entertaining as it did 20 years ago.
McTiernan does a fantastic job in achieving a perfect balance between thrilling action, hilarious dialogue, and some fantastic character relationships, which make the audience really care about the characters. It is set aside from the usual high budget low quality action films by the cleverly but subtly layered plot, which will keep you gripped to the screen for the full 120 minutes. We want to see how the events that take place will affect the character’s relationships, and despite McClane and Sgt. Powell having never met, it feels as if they’re lifelong friends.
Visually and technically the film is still as hard hitting as it was upon its release. The sound and special effects and stunning, and coupled with some brilliant camera work, there are no complaints at all. Whilst the storyline isn’t a masterpiece in realism, and the performances won’t win any Oscars, these factors don’t take away from the experience, and the film is still thoroughly enjoyable.
Die Hard is a landmark in movie making, and if you haven’t already seen it, you’re missing out. Packed full of amazing characters, hilarious dialogue, explosive action, and a diverse kind of festive cheer, Die Hard is the ultimate action film.Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★