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Die Hard (1988)

A police officer from New York City, John McClane (Bruce Willis), arrives in LA to meet up with his wife at her Christmas work function. Shortly after arriving John discovers that the building has been taken over by a group of terrorists led by a man named Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman). John McClane successfully manages to evade the group of dangerous terrorists, but he’s stuck within the building itself. Unable to leave the building and unable to make a phone call to the outside world, Police Officer John McClane must now use wits, courage and a single handgun to try and take on the terrorists and save the hostages including his wife.

I remember watching this film at a young age and questioning the whole way through whether McClane would make it or not. A few months back, I purchased this film on 4K and left it sealed, just waiting for the right time to rewatch it. Thanks to a recent discussion with my wife who admitted she hadn’t seen the film in years, I decided it was time for a rewatch and review. After all, it’s Christmas! The trivia and history of this film is incredible to read about and if you’ve never done so and love films I recommend you check it out.

Die Hard has many praise points to speak of, starting with the leading hero.
John McClane, as a character, is relatable and manages to connect with his audience throughout the film. Why is this so you may ask? For me, it’s the fact that John McClane is simply a regular guy. Die Hard isn’t about a man who has bulging muscles running around a building, snapping necks and gunning people down in a dirty, gory blood bath. This is a man who is trying to survive the night, showing emotion and compassion every step of the way. And funnily enough, in 1988 when this film was released this type of action film was considered risky for the studios to make due to their leading man alone. One fact I discovered was that before Die Hard being made actor Bruce Willis had never done an action film before. Naturally casting him paid off, and this film forever changed the way we see action movies.

The performance by Alan Rickman as the film’s remorseless villain is easily one of my favourite performances from the actor. He’s a character who is not necessarily full of intentions to be needlessly harmful or violent to others, but when something doesn’t go to his plan or when people get in his way, he is quite scary. His bold tone and firm authority are some of the biggest strengths of this film.

As a plot, the film gives its audience a great setup. John McClane’s plane lands and with a little discussion with the person next to him on the plane and by chatting to the driver taking him to his destination, the film gives the audience all the details we require. This way of communicating to the audience is incredible and never feels forced. Once John McClane witnesses the building being taken over by bad guys, we have a full understanding of what the stakes are for our leading hero and the stress level for an audience member is cranked to 11. As for the film’s action, it remains a total blast, even in 2019. Die Hard is loaded with countless action moments and cheesy one-liners which are still quoted by many today.

Die-Hard-Image

While I love the film’s audio and action sequences, unfortunately, the film’s 4k transfer did disappoint me ever so slightly. During certain fight scenes you easily tell when the film has used a stunt double, clearly seeing it is not Bruce Willis, but this is to be expected when watching a classic movie on the premium disc format.

Overall, if you told me you had never seen Die Hard before I will stare at you and raise my eyebrows. Die Hard is an action film that should be watched by all. Not necessarily because it’s a perfect film, but only because it’s a fun action flick which changed action films on the big screen forever. And yes, I believe Die Hard is a Christmas film.

9.5/10

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Review Written by Peter Walkden

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Assimilate (2019)

1st they bite you...then they clone you Zach (Joel Courtney) & Randy (Calum Worthy) are best friends who spend their spare time filming an online reality series (not YouTube- here it’s called “VidTube”). They have spy cameras attached to the collars of their...

The Nightingale (2018)

The year is 1825. The Nightingale is a nickname given to a young Irish convict, a woman whose real name is Clare (Aisling Franciosi). Clare is called The Nightingale because of her stunning singing voice, and she has a husband and a baby daughter. When her sentence is...

Elizabeth Harvest (2018)

Elizabeth (Abbie Lee) marries a brilliant, wise and wealthy doctor named Henry (Ciaran Hinds). She is soon introduced to her large new mansion which she will call home. Her dreams and long term desires are finally being fulfilled- she now owns a big home with a...

Bad Boys For Life (2020)

Welcome to the third instalment of Bad Boys! Police Detectives Marcus (Martin Lawrence) and Mike (Will Smith) are two of the Baddest cops, now going through new challenges in life. Marcus has decided to retire finally, and someone is out to kill Mike for personal...

Little Monsters (2019)

Dave is a musician who recently broke up with his girlfriend. Dave spends his day to day life busking on the city streets and lives with his sister and her son. Dave enjoys teaching his nephew terrible habits, such as foul language and playing Zombie video games with...

Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

Continuing from Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017), Rey continues her training in becoming a Jedi while living amongst the Resistance with friends Finn, Poe & General Leia. Rey is still coming to terms with not knowing everything about her past, including who her...

Killers Anonymous (2019)

A particular support group is regularly held just for a group of killers. Killers who have all murdered people in the past sit in a small room and discuss some of their darkest secrets about their kills and their upbringing. But things turn for the worst amongst this...

Rust Creek (2018)

A young female college student named Sawyer is excited to be invited for an interview in another city. While driving to her destination, her GPS tells her to take a detour to avoid traffic, leading her down towards “Rust Creek”. Sawyer finds herself lost and pulls...

Rollerball (2002)

Set in the near future (possibly the early 2000s lol), our film begins with Jonathan (Chris Klein) accepting a dangerous dare which leads to him being hunted by police within the city. While on the run from the cops, Jonathan bumps into an old friend who just happens...

Code 8 (2019)

Set in the present day, a select amount of humans are born with powerful abilities. Some are capable of reading minds, some control electrical power, some have super strength and so on. The world is a broken place. With current poverty rates at an all-time high, many...

The Parts You Lose (2019)

A young boy named Wesley (Danny Murphy) is hearing impaired. Wesley can communicate with others by reading lips or through the use of sign language. He doesn’t speak and generally keeps to himself. Wesley attends a local school and daily puts up with bullying from...

Into the Ashes (2019)

Nick (Luke Grimes) is a man with a dark criminal past. He now leads a new life working full time in a furniture store and is happily married to the sheriff’s daughter. Nick presently lives far away from his previous life and the two ex-criminal partners he used to...

Buoyancy (2019)

A 14-year-old boy, Chakra (Sarm Heng), is tired of working hard and receiving only a small amount of money from his family. Chakra believes he is the hardest worker within the family and wants something more. He decides to run away from home and work elsewhere. His...

Itsy Bitsy (2019)

Kara (Elizabeth Roberts) is a single mother with two young children. She also works full time as a private nurse, caring for people in their own homes. Kara decides to move to a country town along with her two children (13 & 8-year-old). Her new patient is an...

A Good Day to Die Hard (2013)

Welcome to the 5th instalment to a series which began back in 1988. This time Police Officer John McClane (Bruce Willis) receives word about his son, Jack, who is in trouble in Russia. John goes to Russia only to find his son Jack (Jai Courtney) is, in fact, an...

6 Underground (2019)

Our film follows six rogue agents who have all faked their deaths and have become ‘Ghosts’. Each member of the team has no name, only a number (from 1 - 6). The leader of the group calls himself “One” (played by Ryan Reynolds) and is a mysterious millionaire who...

Marriage Story (2019)

Charlie (Adam Driver) & Nicole (Scarlett Johansson) are a married couple who have finally given up on each other and agree to get a divorce. No matter what they do to correct the once happy marriage (including counselling), the results remain the same. Marriage...