Rapid Review: Die Hard (1988)

die hard poster

“‘And when Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept, for there were no more worlds to conquer.’ Benefits of a classical education.”
– Hans Gruber

SYNOPSIS: NYPD cop John McClane goes on a Christmas vacation to visit his wife Holly in Los Angeles where she works for the Nakatomi Corporation. While they are at the Nakatomi headquarters for a Christmas party, a group of bank robbers led by Hans Gruber take control of the building and hold everyone hostage, with the exception of John, while they plan to perform a lucrative heist. Unable to escape and with no immediate police response, John is forced to take matters into his own hands. – via IMDB

die hard cowboy

GRADE 7.5Bruce Willis is endlessly entertaining as John McClane – he’s insufferable, he knows it, but he is really good at what he does, and he misses his family. So I suppose Hans Gruber deciding to screw with trying to patch things up with his wife wasn’t going to go down too well. The whole way through McClane is the man, and you have to admire and appreciate him. I had a good laugh at his silly comebacks and overall style. Alan Rickman needs to be commended for his role of Hans Gruber because that is one movie villain who is simply awesome. That’s right, awesome. I was not aware that this was his first feature length film, and I never would have guessed. He is so well constructed, intelligent and chilling and you just want to see what he will do. You know how I like my villains to be written! Plus the way that Rickman and Willis play off of each other is just wonderful – their continual banter and opposing desires were constantly at war. Gruber really was the biggest selling point for me when it came to this film. I also liked the chats between Al and McClane, got a few smiles in there. I enjoyed the way that this movie progressed – it takes time to set the scene, to start up and move on to the events that are about to unfold, and doesn’t become this crazy intense action movie immediately. It gets there, but it takes time, and that’s what makes this so good to watch, but it is also something that is going to count against the film for some. I am not one that minds a longer movie though. Maybe not Lethal Weapon great (do I hear the mobs assembling?), but cool nonetheless.

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