HOLLYWOOD—There are those movies that are good, then there are those movies that are great. For some reason, every single time the flick “Die Hard” comes on cable I stop and watch it from start to finish. What is it about this movie that makes it a must-see each time?
Well it’s probably our hero John McClane portrayed by Bruce Willis. McClane is not your ordinary superhero; he’s a bit of a bad***. He says what he wants, he does what he wants, and never apologizes for any of his antics.
Like any good action film, this movie delivers a villain who is a notable adversary to our hero in Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman). He has an accent that is villainous to say the least, and portrays evil in a slightly odd way; he comes across likable, but be careful not to double cross him. The entire setting of the movie is great, which takes place on Christmas Eve, with our hero looking to reunite with his estranged wife.
Things soon turn into a hostage situation, when a group of terrorists invade the building looking for some prized possessions. Upon first viewing, our villains seem to be individuals with a bigger agenda in place, but as the movie nears its climax, it becomes apparent money is the key issue; isn’t it always.
The best thing about “Die Hard” is the fact that our protagonist is taking on a group of villains all by himself. He outwits them in ways the audience would never expect, his witty banter is unlike any other. I mean who can forget that infamous line: “Yippie kay-yah mother******.”
It’s classic, but you want to know what is scary about that line: it doesn’t have the impact seen time and time again in cinematic masterpieces in my opinion. The repeated exposure of that phrase in each “Die Hard” flick after the original loses its bearing in my opinion.
There are two classic moments in the movie: that scene where John first comes face-to-face with Hans and when Hans discovers John’s connection to Holly. I mean for a moment the audience suspects that John is clueless that Hans is the villain, but it was all a ploy. Hans discovering that John is Holly’s husband is a game-changer, with so many hints in her office; it was amazing that our villain never picked up on this until it was almost too late.
I love that this movie is the quintessential action film. It’s carefully balanced with story, character development and action. It’s not like the action is carefully plotted out like most flicks. Its apart of the narrative itself and it’s not really over the top in my opinion. This isn’t just a movie for guys to enjoy, women will love it too. At its core it’s a love story; an estranged husband doing what he has to do to protect his family, even if that means walking around a building barefoot and getting shards of glass in his feet.
“Die Hard” is a classic, not just because it’s a movie that relies heavily on gunfire and explosions, it gave audiences a hero who we loved; a guy who felt just like us. He was a screw-up, but when it came time to protect and serve, no one did it better than John McClane, period!