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Plot: An NYPD officer tries to save his wife and several others taken hostage by German terrorists during a Christmas party at the Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles. Runtime: 132 min Release Date: 20 Jul 1988
You'll "Die Hard" with this action-lover's action movie (by dee.reid)
One could claim that 1988's "Die Hard" is one of the most influential action movies ever made because it basically revolutionized one of the most copied but never matched, at least in terms of quality formulas: a loner, by some unique twist of fate, battles it out with an "x" number of terrorists in an enclosed environment.By the time that "Die Hard" was released, the action movies were most often dominated by the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, and Chuck Norris. Star Bruce Willis, whose only notable credits at the time were <more>
television's "Moonlighting" and 1987's "Blind Date," which was released the year before, was the unlikeliest of them all.Willis was a wild card - an unlikely choice for the role of our hero "John McClane" - since he didn't have any action credits on his resume' and let's face it: Bruce Willis just didn't have the bulging biceps required for a role like this. But that's the beauty of his performance in this movie: he's an everyday guy, caught in a not-so-everyday situation.On Christmas, McClane's estranged wife Holly Bonnie Bedelia invites him from New York all the way out to Los Angeles to spend the holidays with the family. But it requires him to make a stop at the Nakatomi offices, which is having an after-hours Christmas party. Riding for the first time in a limo, he's introduced to the suave driver, Argyle De'voreaux White , who gives him some pretty useful advice on trying to win over the wife.At Nakatomi, things of course get off to a rough start for McClane, as he gets into an argument with the wife and is left to wallow in his misery. However, those problems are about to take a backseat to the real "party" - twelve terrorists, led by Hans Gruber all-purpose bad guy Alan Rickman, perfectly cast - seize control of the building and proceed to rob the Nakatomi building of its assets, most of which include negotiable bonds and other valuables. But they didn't count on the "fly in the ointment" pain in the a** to make things hell for these so-called party crashers.Certainly one of the best known action movies ever, "Die Hard" did receive the scorn of critics upon its 1988 summer release, but the audiences sung a completely different tune.The film was most often praised for the production, with the brand-new Fox Plaza office tower serving as the fictional Nakatomi building. It was also praised for the energetic and skillful direction of John McTiernan, whose most notable credit was the action-sci-fi thriller "Predator," which was released the year before and starred Arnold Schwarzenegger.Bruce Willis was the perfect actor for this performance, since he brings the wit and vulnerability to a role like this one. If Stallone or Schwarzenegger were in this movie, I'm sure the effect would have been a lot different.Personally, I think "Die Hard" is one of the greatest action movies ever, up there close to my favorite action movie of all time, "Raiders of the Lost Ark." Like Indiana Jones in that film, "Die Hard" had an Everyman cast in the role; McClane, like Indiana Jones, wasn't a larger-than-life musclebound grotesque: he was a real guy that you cared about, who got hurt, and had real feelings.That's why I think both of these movies have sort of stood the test of time as becoming what they are best known for today: action classics, and they're here to stay, ladies and gentlemen.10/10
A guy movie that is still fun to watch (by ciscokid1970)
So many things made this movie great.This movie made Bruce Willis immortal. He soaks up this character so well, it was him. The wise cracking cop who is entertaining because he is sarcastically funny not uttering stupid catch phrases. He is a cop who looks like a normal guy, middle age, loosing some hair with wife problems. no faked up pretty face with shaved chest and oiled muscles . He is cool without pretending to be cool. He manages to thwart the bad guys while barefoot, man that is a great twist.The plot is great because it does not fall perfectly in line for the hero. He stumbles, gets <more>
stuck and survives only by last minute thinking. It has plenty of action without getting ridiculous.And the bad guys are great, smart sinister and well acted.It is one of those movies that could play every weekend and would still be watched. Is one of those top 10 movies every guy should own.Die hard 2 was OK but not as good as the original, I wish they would have stopped after 2. Die Hard 3 is poor.
The ultimate thrill-ride – and still the standard by which I judge an action movie (by gogoschka-1)
Seeing 'Die Hard' for the first time as a teenager was a one-of-a-kind experience. This level of raw, "edge-of-your-seat" action was unknown to me prior to this film; it made my head spin and the intensity of it was nearly unbearable. When it was over, I could only think of one word: Wow!For a long time - at least in western cinema - the only "true" action movies by that I mean films that were all about the action and you went to see them because of the action were the 'James Bond' movies. They had the most unreal stunts and crazy, over the top action <more>
sequences that you could imagine at the time, and they were and still are great fun. However, they usually lacked three vital ingredients:1. A sense of realism meaning: the hero is only human and can get hurt 2. Grit messy, unpolished action, dirty people and LOTS of swearing 3. R-rated violence showing the audience what real weapons do to the human body Well, it took John McTiernan to bring those three key elements together in 'Die Hard' - and thus the modern action film was born it had a good run through the late eighties until the end of the nineties – then the studios figured out they could maximise the box-office by taming down the swearing, violence and sex and thus, alas, the contemporary, toothless PG-13 action film was born . Sure, there have been a couple of others before McTiernan's masterpiece 'First Blood', 'Terminator', 'Predator' - which was also by McTiernan - or 'Lethal Weapon' and probably some more , but those films could have fallen into any number of other categories as well 'Adventure-/Survival-/War-', 'Sci- Fi', 'Horror-' or 'Buddy-movie' – and I can't think of another film that was just such a relentless, pure-action-from-the-beginning-to-the-end film as was 'Die Hard'. To me, it's the ultimate thrill ride. The formula has since been repeated so many times, but the original still sets the standard by which I judge an action film. Should be seen every Christmas. 10 stars out of 10.Favorite Films: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls054200841/Lesser-known Masterpieces: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls070242495/Favorite Low-Budget and B-movies: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls054808375/Favorite TV-Shows reviewed: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls075552387/
"Die Hard" is the prototype type for the modern action film. Since it's also one of the best action films ever made, that happens to be a very good thing. "Die Hard" is lean, mean, and doesn't contain a single second of wasted screen time. The direction, the action, the story, the acting . . . every aspect of this film comes close to big-budget action movie perfection. Since "Die Hard" was first released in 1988, it's difficult to think of a blockbuster action film that doesn't follow the basic structure and format of "Die Hard" . . . <more>
or, for that matter, is better than "Die Hard". "Die Hard" is about John McClane Bruce Willis, in one of his all-time best film performances , a basically good, honest New York cop with a penchant for annoying authority figures. Traveling to Los Angeles in a last ditch attempt to patch things up with his estranged wife Holly Bonnie Bedelia , John McClane suddenly finds himself involved in a hostage situation. Terrorists, led by the enigmatic Hans Gruber Alan Rickman , have taken over the office building in which Holly is working, and with Gruber holding the upper hand over the LAPD and FBI forces in Los Angeles, it's up to John McClane to save the day . . . .Kudos should be given to both director John McTiernan and screenwriters Jeb Stuart and Steven DeSouza -- the film is tight, electrifying, and clever, which is something few action films can ever claim. The story isn't completely believable, but it's believable enough, and it manages to move along at a quick enough pace to where the most glaring plotholes can easily be glossed over. There's also enough twists and wrinkles thrown into the story to keep the audience guessing as to what's going to happen next . . . and the surprises don't come out of left field, but are actually clever and well thought-out. The fact that McClane often relies on his brains instead of his bullets to get out of his predicaments is also a big plus. Simply put, "Die Hard" is one of the smartest and savviest action screenplays ever written. McTiernan holds up his end of the film admirably as well -- he uses the claustrophobic nature of the office building to great effect particularly in any scene involving an elevator shaft , and he keeps the film rolling at a rollercoaster pace, building up the anticipation of the audience before unleashing the action. A lot of recent action films just fly along at a mindless, breakneck pace, without ever allowing the story to breathe or the suspense to build . . . unlike those films, "Die Hard" knows how to maximize the impact of each and every scene, and that's why it stands out so clearly from them all. With "Die Hard", John McTiernan puts on a perfect clinic as to how to pace an action movie.As for the acting, it's darn near close to perfect. Bruce Willis is awesome as John McClane. As played by Willis, McClane's a smartass with a distinct disdain for being given orders . . . but McClane's also clever, and knows how to keep cool under pressure. There's more to McClane than the stereotypical tough guy hero. Fortunately, the role was given to Bruce Willis, who infuses McClane with the perfect mix of cocky arrogance and stone-cold heroism. The fact that Willis plays McClane as a man often in disbelief of his own situation, and who struggles in his fight against bad guys instead of just killing bad guys with ease, like most stereotypical action heroes -- well, not only does it make the character much more believable, it's darn brilliant. The fact that Willis also knows how to deliver a deadpan one-liner better than anybody else in Hollywood makes the character all the better. There's only a handful of movies where both character and actor are a completely perfect match; Bruce Willis as John McClane is one such perfect match.Also worthy of mention is Alan Rickman's performance as the villain Hans Gruber. The Machiavellian Gruber would've been an easy villain to turn into little more than a scenery-chewing Bond villain . . . fortunately, Rickman doesn't travel the easy route. Gruber, as played by Rickman, is cold and calculating, and actually acts smart, instead of merely claiming to be smart and then being thoroughly outwitted by the hero. He always appears to have an ace hidden up his sleeve, and is so convincing at giving this impression, it's hard to tell throughout the film whether he or McClane truly have the upper hand. Other actors probably could've played Gruber fairly well, but Rickman makes Gruber one of the all-time great villains. As for the rest of the cast, they're all pretty good. Bonnie Bedelia does a nice job as John's soon-to-be-ex-wife Holly -- she plays her with enough smarts and feistiness to break the usual "damsel in distress" mold. It's also worth mentioning that Paul Gleason, who plays the obstinate police chief Robinson, pretty much sets up the modern action movie stereotype of the authority figure who refuses to heed the advice of the maverick hero. The character is stupid to a fault, and he's wonderful because of it."Die Hard" is a terrific example of what happens when all the pieces of a film fall together perfectly. There simply are no weak spots or dull moments in the film. Is "Die Hard" one of the best overall movies ever made? Probably not. But it's undeniably one of the best action movies ever made, and it just might well be the perfect modern action film. Grade: A
Action-packed thrill ride that could be the best in the genre!!! (by jlevin1937)
Quite possibly the best modern action movie since the classic "Dirty Harry", "Die Hard" simply rocks. Based on the interesting novel "Nothing Lasts Forever" by Roderick Thorp, "Die Hard" made headlines for its combination of a terrific cast, excellent script, amazing action sequences and superb direction. Headed up by screen favorite Bruce Willis The Sixth Sense , "Die Hard" also features the talented Alan Rickman Galaxy Quest and Bonnie Bedelia Needful Things . Directed by action veteran John McTiernan, the mastermind behind such action <more>
spectaculars as "Predator", "The Hunt For Red October", "The Thomas Crown Affair" 1999 , and "Die Hard With A Vengeance".In the role that shot him to stardom, Willis plays Detective John McClane, a hard-hitting cop from New York on Christmas Vacation in LA. He is there to visit his wife whom he is separated from , Holly Gennaro, who recently got a great job working for the Nakatomi corporation and has permanently moved to Los Angeles with their two children. John arrives at Nakatomi Plaza expecting a fun Christmas party and a relaxing night. Man was he wrong! A few minutes after getting settled, twelve gun-toting Eastern Europeans take the entire 30th floor hostage. The supposed terrorists are headed up by the brilliant megalomaniac Hans Gruber Rickman , who actually wants the $640 million dollars inside the floor's vault. Somehow, McClane escapes upstairs armed only with a handgun and starts causing a ruckus, slowly hunting down each well-equipped thug."Die Hard" succeeds is because it presents every challenge McClane has to face realistically and clearly. As the tension mounts, the ordeals for John become increasingly harder. First, it's just a terrorist. Then a whole slew of them. Later, it's the NYPD and even the FBI! Director McTiernan gives the film a good pace and makes the film work by showing that John isn't superhuman; he only uses his brain more than his gun. Also, screenwriters Jeb Stuart The Fugitive & Steven E. De Souza 48 Hrs. add touches of humor that lighten up the viewer and classic one-liners "Yippy-Ki-Yay, [email protected]#$" that ignite the screen. Their subplots actually add to the story instead of overcomplicating it, especially one featuring good cop Sgt. Al Powell Rejinald VelJohnson of TV's "Family Matters" .Overall, this movie was awesome. Willis is very believable and has significant screen presence. Character development is superb, and even though Stuart and De Souza leave some loose ends untied - like how a man gets hung with a chain and still comes back for more - the film remains to be an action classic. Note to Parents: the nudity, drug use, continual profanity, and extreme violence would make this a bad choice for kids under 13. Otherwise, see "Die Hard" ASAP! Overall Rating: *** Worth 9 out of 10 dollars ***
When people think action - they remember Die Hard. They remember Bruce Willis in his star-making role as that guy in the wrong place at the wrong time. They remember John McClane, they remember Han's Gruber, Holly Generro and Ellis, alright not really Ellis... but everybody will always remember those immortal words, "Yippee-Ki-Ay Motherf*&ker" Die Hard is the ultimate action film, packed with all the firepower you can handle and enough C4 to level a building. It's and a genuine no-holds-barred roller coaster ride from beginning to end.With a relatable everyman John <more>
McClane, Bruce Willis in his iconic role - brilliant and a sinister villain in Han's Gruber Alan Rickman Die Hard has the action-genre by the balls and sets a standard in this genre that has never been equaled. "Welcome to the party, pal!"
Every so often,a film comes along that resets the standard for it's genre.Die Hard did just that very thing for action films.Any film that inspires copycats and wannabes really does it's job well.Bruce Willis made a very successful transition from the small screen to the big screen as the everyday Joe forced into being the hero.This film has all the necessary ingredients to qualify it as a great action film.All you have to do is see it for yourself.Particularly well done is the performance of Alan Rickman as the chief villain,Hans Gruber.You can come up with good arguments for many <more>
action films as to which is the best all time,and this one is no exception.Well done.
The Tips Of His Fingers Were Very Strong (by daveisit)
Easily the best Die Hard movie and a rare victory in this genre for the director and producers. I sat down and cheered Bruce on through this movie which is as rare as Michael Jordan being humble. This is the time of year to whack "Die Hard" in the old DVD, and listen to the sweet "Jingle Bell Rock" tune.
All the ingredients of a prime 80s actioner (by groovylicious_dude)
It's easy to forget those sparkling days of Hollywood when the likes of Arnie and Sylvester ruled the screen, machete in one hand and machine gun in the other. In this age of vampire slayers and plucky tomb raiders, the action hero has become something of a box office shadow. Let's look back in time, then, back to 1988 when a little film called Die Hard was released. Expectations were low for a film loaded with explosives and expletives. But then the cash began to flow.If anybody is to be credited for Die Hard's success, it's Bruce Willis. In him we find the perfect action <more>
hero; fuelled by emotion, captivating and sharp-tongued, rippling with muscle. He is the everyman, and he is all man, bleeding, sweating, cursing. He is the epitome of cool, with his pithy one-liners "Yippee Kai-Yay motherf*cker!" and his finger on the trigger. Alan Rickman, Willis' polar opposite, brings a cold, calculating superiority to his villain. His lines are whispered with menace, just enough humour injected to escape hammy over-dramatics. Who cares if he set the precedent for growling English villains in Hollywood fare when he does it this well? This is a balls-to-the-walls crowd-pleaser, and every character has their moment. Bloody, outrageously extravagant action sequences are delivered with the same deadpan humour of Willis' performance, playfully underlined by Michael Kaman's seasonal score. Effects are tight, tension palpable, and when there's blood smeared everywhere you can count on Willis to deliver a sly line or two.