Release Date: 20 July 1988 (USA)
Cast: Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia, Reginald VelJohnson
Running Time: 2hr 11min
It’s Christmas Eve, and New York cop John McClane lands in LA to attend a Christmas party with his ex-wife Holly at the Nakatomi Plaza. When he arrives, the temperature drops as things between him and Holly get frosty right away. John removes his shoes to get comfortable after the flight, and he and Holly continue to argue.
Unbeknownst to anyone, terrorists, led by Hans Gruber have taken over the building, and move up to the level of the party. Gruber interrogates the company CEO, Mr. Takagi, as he wants $640m in bearer bonds kept in the building’s vaults. Takagi is murdered for refusing to cooperate, and the terrorists take hostages. McClane, meanwhile, has managed to escape and begins a game of cat and mouse.
McClane kills a couple of terrorists and radios a 911 call. Officer Powell checks it out and thinks everything is fine until McClane drops a dead body on his bonnet. And suddenly, the cops are in the game! After liaising with the police, and trying to talk them out of some futile efforts, McClane finally discovers Gruber’s plan. When the terrorist takes Holly hostage McClane springs into action once more, culminating in a showdown where Gruber is finally bested and thrown from the top of the Nakatomi Plaza.
Anyone who tells you Die Hard isn’t the best Christmas film of all time is just plain wrong! Not only that, but it could well stake a claim for being the best action movie of all time as well. It’s the film that made Bruce Willis a household name and the movie that gave birth to a thousand action films, and to think it so nearly didn’t get made at all – at least not in the way we know it.
Bruce Willis was never the studio choice for the lead role, but I’m sure even they would agree he’s excellent in it. He more than holds his own against ‘proper’ actor – the late Alan Rickman as Hans Gruber. It’s Willis’ McClane who is the heart of the piece; a likable, vulnerable action hero, with a penchant for Roy Rogers.
Die Hard is an action movie tour-de-force, full of quips, thrills, and some Grade A violence. Almost thirty years old, and this movie has barely aged a day, still surpassing even the slicker movies of recent times. With taut thrills, epic action, and a jaunty soundtrack, it’s time to get this holiday classic on once more, and get in the Christmas spirit!