Die Hard


One line review: The textbook definition of a great action movie.

Movie Title: Die Hard

Actors: Bruce Willis, Bonnie Bedelia, Reginald VelJohnson, Paul Gleason, De’voreaux White

Director: John McTiernan

Year: 1988

Genre: Action / Adventure

Method of Viewing: Netflix Online

Location of Viewing: Home

Viewing with: Friends in #Jazzmess

Rotten Tomatoes: 94% – Its many imitators (and sequels) have never come close to matching the taut thrills of the definitive holiday action classic.

My rating:  ***** – Fully deserving of it’s Legendary status

My assessment (the first 101 words at least):

Yippie-Kay-Yay Mother Fucker, this is the absolute best definition of what an action movie should be. When watching, I was first afraid that it would be nothing more than a mindless action movie, however, the lovable John McClane and a few other funny performances give this movie a unique shine. Sure, the characters and situations in this movie have been repeated before, but I’ve got a feeling that this movie was the originator of these cliches, not the copier.

Die Hard manages to separate itself from other action movies mainly through having brief moments of realize (very brief, explosions are still 10 times larger than they should be) and John McClane. John is definitely a unique character in the movie world, especially when compared to most action heroes. When John is in action mode, he gets hurt, he questions his actions, he’s completely unsure of himself. He doesn’t try to be an action hero on his own, he’d rather try to call in back up and sneak around. It feels like he’s an action hero by accident.

The audience relates to John a lot easier when he seems to make logical decisions rather than generic action star choosing to just shoot everything and be bad-ass. If we were faced with a group of terrorist, we probably would be calling the cops as well. I know that if I suddenly had to go action star on some bad guys, I probably would be (nervously) joking about it too. Best of all, John screws up. Repeatedly. While it might seem like a basic part of Die Hard, it completely shocked me. I expected a generic action movie, not a movie where crazy plans to save the day could actually fail. This entire movie allows us to watch a  goofy kind of guy you can easily relate to turn into a bloody and bad ass action hero.


The cop from Family Matters (Sgt. Powell) showing up completely threw me off, though I do enjoy the irony that Die Hard could theoretically be in the same universe as Urkel. While I enjoyed his role, I was a bit annoyed that they try to shoehorn the subplot of Powell shooting a kid, then some how learning how to shoot suspects again at the end of the film. I guess they wanted to make him more of a fleshed out character, but they just ran out of time.

The more I think about it, almost all of the other characters in the movie seemed to bug me a bit. The villians were all fairly generic between the foreign accents and the boss being extremely calm and collected. Argile, the limo driver, seemed to have some completely pointless scenes at the begininng, and only actually helped out at the ass end of the movie. The newscaster that revealed John McClane’s family also ticked me off, not out of a “I’m supposed to hate this character way” as much a “Wow, how convient I did this kind of asshole action at this exact time”. Maybe the sheer fun of John McClane makes everyone look bad by comparison.

Either way, this is just a fun movie, and John McClane is a fun character. I’m going to definitely catch the other Die Hard movies as soon as I can. Next review will be Predator, with Wizard of Oz should be after that, then Young Frankenstein.


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