As we come nearer and nearer to everyone’s favourite snow-drenched, gluttony-embracing holiday, I’d think I’d kick off the jubilation with my first proper review in a good month or so. And what film better to do that than with Die Hard. Although technically a Christmas film, there isn’t necessarily a designated time for this one. So I watched it, and I watched the hell out of it. It is good. Good enough to get that dirty Godzilla taste out of your mouth anyway.
Take your mind back to 1988. I, personally, can’t because I wasn’t even a concept back then. But maybe you can. You had a good and growing selection of lovely macho action films going; The Terminator, Raiders of the Lost Ark, First Blood (The best one) and Predator only came out last year! Now, from a swaggering director fresh off of the wave of awesomeness that is Predator, and starring, what?! Bruce Willis?! That guy from Sunset and Blind Date?! Really? Wow, this film — what’s it called? Die Hard? God, that sounds awful. Yeah, that is probably what you thought, person I don’t know that must be around 45 years old. Little did you know that Die Hard would become the standard for all action films to come.
Well, apparantly, anyway. I wouldn’t call it the standard.
That being said, I did like the story. A toughened New York cop flies out to his estranged wife for a Christmas. While at a Christmas party at her business office building that do negotiation-y stuff, terrorists attack! Oh, I’m sorry, “thieves”; German, very terroristy theives. Anyway, thieves attack! What does our good ol’, all american, toughened New York cop do? Why, he ain’t goin’ to be taken hostage by some damned terrorists, no way Jose. No way. He gets his gun that he took on holiday with him (issues!) and goes terror-thief hunting. Hell yeah! Oh, and you better believe there’s a black police officer that don’t take nothin’ from no one. His name is Al, we like Al. Now that I’m looking at the font of this site, it does look like I’m writing AI but, make no mistake, I’m writing AL, not AI. Al as in short for Alfred. Do you know what? I’ll just call him Alfred to take out all of the confusion. Alfred is not a great driver, but who would if a body fell on your car and you were being shot at. I know I wouldn’t, then again, I can’t drive a car. I’ve wasted a lot of space on talking about font and Alfred so I’ll cut the story short, everyone dies, K?
However, the star of the show is this guy up here. Hans Gruber, played particularly well by Alan Rickman. Actually, for a feature film debut, he played him very well, though some of his German was a bit off. In every scene, he seemed to be pretty much in control, that he has a plan–
*THERE MIGHT BE A FEW SPOILERS IN THE COMING SENTENCES, SO WATCH OUT*
Like I said, a plan for every conceivable outcome. A scene which I was particularly impressed by was one where he used the fact that McClane (toughened New York cop) hadn’t yet seen his face to his advantage and put on an American Accent and pretended to be a stranded hostage. Never since had I seen anything like that. This constant feel of control emitted by the villain adds to the shock when he is killed (refer to above picture). Even then, Rickman adds a bit of drama to this scene, the face he makes as he dies shows that he is just as shocked as the audience is as he dies, as it seemed he had control right up to his death. What a surprise.
Though many people believe that the constant wisecracking of the protagonist is part of the charm and character of him, around the 1hr mark I began to get a bit bored of it. I was like “Ha ha. Okay get on with it.” Of course, some of the plot points were a bit far-fetched, but I can get past that in an 80’s action film. The character of John McClane overall was a little bit… annoying, actually. It seemed like every two minutes he was talking to himself or making a joke or groaning or moaning. If he could just shut up that would be good.
Overall, Die Hard was an entertaining, not-too-violent, slightly funny, perfectly decent film. However, as a message for someone who hasn’t yet watched it, it doesn’t live up to the hype.
Lots of hugs, kisses and lacerations