Archive: Die Hard (1988) A Review

I may have missed watching this during the Christmas period, but I got to it eventually.  I can never honestly remember watching this one.  I have seen the others in the series do thought it was time to see where it all started. 


DIRECTOR:  John McTiernan

STARRING:  Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia

SCREENPLAY:  Roderick Thorp (novel), Jeb Stuart (screenplay)

GENRE:  Action, Thriller

RUNTIME:  132 Minutes

★★★★ 3.5 Stars 

Review by Pearl

I feel like talking about this film is kind of moot at this point. It is so beloved by so many people, and everything that could have been said about it has been said, but I still think it is worth me putting my two cents in, as this is, I am pretty sure, the first time I have ever seen Die Hard.

John McClane, a New York police officer, has to save his wife and her co-workers, after their office building is infiltrated by German Terrorists.  There will be a lot of explosions and Dramatic hijinks and some of cinemas most iconic lines during its 2-hour runtime.

Die Hard is an action movie classic for a reason. It has all the ingredients that go into making a really great action film.  A protagonist you can root for, and for me to say that about Bruce Willis is quite an achievement.  Alan Rickman does as always a great villainous performance. Though by now I imagine we are all a little tired of always seeing him play a bad guy.  But back in the 80s when this movie was made, he didn’t have the 40 years of type casting her has behind him now.  Explosions and daring stunts are happening every five minutes and they are amazing to watch.  So yeah, all the goodness needed to make a great action film.  And for the most part, that is exactly what you get.

The only thing that let this film down for me was the dialogue.  It definitely suffers from that bad 80s over dramatic macho-ness that action movies of the time had in spades. And while it does partly add to it’s charm, and some of the line of this film will go down as some of the greatest in history, some of them were cringe worthy and made me want to roll my eyes. But I guess it almost gets a free pass because lets be honest, it’s what you kind of expect from an 80s action movie. 

There is never any doubt that John will save the day, not really. Movies of this kind always follow a pattern, and that pattern always ends with the hero gallantly saving the day. But you are on the edge of your seat waiting to see exactly how he is going to do it.  And boy does he do it with style.

On the off chance there is at least one other human out there who hasn’t yet seen Die Hard, welcome friend, know that you are not alone. And now go and see it.  You won’t be sorry.

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