Die Hard (1988)

Die Hard
Director: John McTiernan
Writer: Jeb Stuart, Steven E. de Souza
Based on: Roderick Thorp‘s novel Nothing Lasts Forever
Cast: Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia, Reginald VelJohnson, Paul Gleason, William Atherton

Police officer John McClane (Bruce Willis) travels from New York to LA for Christmas, where his wife Holly (Bonnie Bedelia) and children have been living for the past months. But shortly after he arrives at Holly’s office Christmas party, terrorists led by Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) take the entire party hostage. Everybody but John, that is. With no way of contacting anybody on the outside, it’s up to John to get rid of the terrorists one by one.

I’m a little late to the party with this movie, I know. And maybe because I’m late to the party, I don’t really get what all the fuss about this film is about? I mean, yes, it’s a good action movie. There are some nice jokes. But I just didn’t think it was all that great.


Maybe the problem were my expectations. They do tend to screw with things. And since Die Hard is such a classic and I’ve heard so much about it, I expected it to be absolutely awesome. And it wasn’t. It was very good, but it just didn’t reach that level of perfection that I expected.

But it did entertain. Alan Rickman is always wonderful to watch and he was amazing in this one, too. (Though his German is certainly not accent-free and that was a bit annoying at times.) And Bruce Willis has no problem with making you believe his role, either. And both their characters are enjoyable. Though the characters aren’t generally great. The police men (all of them) seemed more like walking jokes than people and Holly was more of a prize for John than anything else.


I also felt like Hans was a bit too all-knowing, all-forseeing. There’s only so much planning one can do. But okay, I’m willing to forgive that because the story is cool and a good villain needs a good plan.

In the end, Die Hard is a good movie. I liked the sense of humor in it and it had me laughing out loud a couple of times. And the soundtrack work is really excellent. It just didn’t blow me away, altogether.


Summarising: It’s fine.

8 thoughts on “Die Hard (1988)

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  5. In a way, I understand where you are coming from, especially since I had very similar experiences with some horror classics (which I never saw as a kid and only started to catch up with in recet years). And of course, Die Hard has been copied to death in the 25 years since it’s initial release.

    That said… it still works like a charm for me. While obviously the concept is one of the main reasons while this movie stands out from all the 08/15 action fare, there are also the wonderful characters, the plan of the “terrorists”, great performances, gripping set-pieces, and many truly memorable scenes. To this day, I count “Die Hard” as one of the very best action movies of all time.

  6. Pingback: RoboCop (1987) | Stuff

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