Quick Hit: One of the greatest action (and greatest Christmas movies) of all time.
There are times I will fully admit I have an issue with being completely objective when it comes to film reviewing. Generally, you’ll be able to see that in the lengths of reviews of movies I really wanted to love, as it comes out as a bunch of confliction in my writing. Other times, I simply surrender to my subjective and allow what is an entertaining movie to be entertaining. This is the latter.
Die Hard, which came out in 1988 (thirty freaking years ago!) has inspired countless knock-offs, sequels, and Christmas arguments. But there are very few people that will say it’s not entertaining. It’s absolutely the perfect vehicle for a much younger Bruce Willis, on top of the schmarm that made him one of the most beloved action heroes. How many other cops could get away with running around in their underwear, barefoot, and still make a movie believable. I’ll give you possibly Jason Statham, but after that, look no further than Willis in his prime.
I’ll fully admit – the premise to this movie has so many holes it’s unbelievable. How a crime syndicate could possibly manage to plan such a bonkers scheme is beyond me, particularly one that is led by none other than one of the best action movie bad guys out there – Hans Gruber, none other than Alan Rickman (RIP). Throw in a ton of foreign, vaguely Eastern European henchman and you have an easy knock-em down, throw-em out, shoot-em up type movie, and it’s more entertaining than the script should actually be.
Some of that comes down to fun side characters. Seargant Al Powell is one of the best in a lot of action movies, who just wants to eat some Hostess and get back to his pregnant wife at the end of the night. But his backstory is also compelling. I also like that this movie, though incredibly full of machoisms, avoids being masochist. Sure, McClane saves the day in the end, including his wife, but he also admits that he was stupid, that he was selfish, and he was threatened by a powerful woman. To have that kind of a message, especially in 1988, was pretty bold. Oh – and just for the record, I think Argyle was awesome too.
I don’t really know what else there is to say about this movie, but if you like action, you’ll love it. There’s bad guys, explosions, and pyrotechnics galore. And despite the fact the movie is thirty years old, its effects are pretty good even to this day. In fact, I think its age is a benefit in that it doesn’t rely on tons of CGI to make its effects stupendous.
So this Christmas (so what if it’s half a year away?), pop in your edition of Die Hard. You’ll be happy you did so.
For more on this film, check out IMDB.
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"