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There are some age-old questions in life. Is there a God? Do aliens exist? What is the meaning of life? Then in 1988, John McTiernan created another that would divide humanity; is ‘Die Hard’ a Christmas movie? Seeing as we are in the festive season, I decided to answer this question and review Die Hard.
Directed by John McTiernan and starring Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman is the notorious movie, Die Hard. New York cop John McClane travels to Los Angeles to reconcile with his wife at the Christmas party, held at the Nakatomi Plaza. The party is disrupted by German terrorist Hans Gruber and his crew who are holding the guest’s hostage. It’s now down to McClane to save the hostages and defeat Hans Gruber.
John McClane was played by Bruce Willis and, though I’m not the biggest Bruce Willis fan, he was awesome in Die Hard. His character was witty and fun and smart and Willis immersed himself in this role so much so that John McClane is one of the most notorious characters in cinema history. Similarly, Hans Gruber is one of cinema’s greatest villains who was brilliantly played by Alan Rickman brilliantly. Despite the odd “German” accent, Rickman was the perfect choice for Hans Gruber. Rickman demonstrates his phenomenal acting ability in Die Hard and makes the film so much more enjoyable. Holly Gennaro, John’s wife, was played by Bonnie Bedelia and I liked her character. I felt that there could have been a bit more from her but generally, her role in the film was good. Sergeant Al Powell, played by Reginald VelJohnson and he did a great job of playing the character, and the amount of screen time he had was perfect. There was also Harry Ellis, played by Hart Bochner, who is killed by Gruber. Though he was an unlikeable character, Bochner’s acting was commendable and he did a good job playing Ellis. Along with Hans Gruber, my other favourite character in Die Hard was Argyle, played fantastically by De’voreaux White. He was funny and an interesting character that made the film more enjoyable. One of Hans’ crew was Karl, a tough German hitman, played by Alexander Godunov. Godunov was amazing in this role and really made the film more fun to watch.
The plot is pretty straightforward, but once the action is added into the film, you have more of a movie. The action was beautifully executed, and there were so many awesome scenes that were amazing to watch in the film. Admittedly, my favourite stunt scene was when James and Alexander were killed by McClane with the C4 attached to the office chair. It was a smart idea that was great fun to watch.
Die Hard has become one of those iconic movies like The Shining, where it gets spoofed and imitated regularly by other movies and TV shows. It’s because McTiernan took the film to new heights (both figuratively and literally) and brought something both entertaining and awesome to movie screens everywhere in 1988. As the film’s tagline says, it’s 40 stories of sheer adventure, and the film delivered on this. It’s also because of the incredible acting from Willis and Rickman, combined with great dialogue from the novel’s writer, Roderick Thorp, and screenplay writers, Jeb Stuart and Steven de Souza, that makes the film more epic and memorable. As mentioned earlier, John McClane and Hans Gruber are some of the most notable names in cinema, and this is because of how brilliant Die Hard was. It’s no wonder that the film was selected for preservation by the United States National Film Registry, as it is a defining and iconic movie that will stand the test of time and be lived for generations to come.
To answer the age-old question, of course Die Hard is a Christmas movie! It’s set at Christmas, has Christmas music, and basically is an adult’s version of Home Alone. Why shouldn’t it be? Despite Bruce Willis claiming that it isn’t, Die Hard is loved by many and enjoyed over the festive period.
Overall, Die Hard was a fantastic film that I loved watching. I give it an 8.7/10. It had great action and kept me hooked for most of the movie, but could have put more of characters in places. It’s currently on NowTV and is likely to be on TV over Christmas.
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Once again, thanks for reading this week’s review. Follow @Ryans.Movie.Reviews on Instagram to have your say on what Christmas film I review for next week. See you then!