So, apparently I shouldn’t decide to start trends that are supposed to last longer than say, a week, because just one week into Ridiculously Bad Movies month and I’ve already decided to not review a ridiculous movie. Well, okay, I suppose Die Hard is pretty wacky in its own way. The amount of carnage, enormous. Explosions, liberal. Immortal Bruce Willis’s, present. I actually watched this one a while back but never wrote on it, what because Die Hard is one of those films that everyone has seen and knows, and railing on and on about the plot points is kinda trite at this point. But, while cruising IMDB today, I noticed that the third film in the series, Live Free or Die Hard, also went by the name Die Hard – Mega Hard in Denmark, which I took as a sign that I should write about it anyway.
Die Hard is one of those films I can dimly remember watching way back once upon a time, when I’m guessing I was either too young or too distracted to actually pay attention. Since the film came out when I was four, that’s a pretty solid theory. In any case, this is a movie about organized terrorists, and about killing said terrorists. With guns. And explosions.
It’s Christmas eve, and New York cop John McClain (Bruce Willis) just arrived in Los Angeles to reunite with his wife (Bonnie Bedelia), with whom he is on rocky terms with. Turns out, John decided to stick with the NYPD when his wife moved to LA. Because… uh. Because it was a better job? Or maybe because he likes New York? I don’t remember. Not important. What is important is that McClain arrives at his wife’s office, a massive skyscraper with like a million floors or something, where they are having a Christmas party!
Anyway, McClain gets off to a bad start with his wife, who is also fending off ham handed attempts at romance from a co-worker, who is also tripping balls, possibly on cocaine. Wait, that’s not really important either.
Anyway, John heads off to unwind after a long flight, and manages to take his shoes off before TERROR HAPPENS. Or terrorists, in this case. Lead by Hanz Gruber (Alan Rickman), the heavily accented jerkwads take everyone at the party hostage, except for John, who takes this as a good of a reason as any to murder the shit out of everyone.
That is where the plot stops and the ACTION begins. John quickly transforms into an avatar of death and vengence, hell bent on stopping the terrorists from doing… whatever it is that they want to do, I guess. Honestly, it was probably due to money. Once again, that doesn’t matter. We’re at the point now in the story where they stop making excuses and start blowing up everything.
The action in Die Hard is top notch (Oh wow, there’s a sentence that’s never been seen before. Man, we’re really breaking ground here now) but honestly it has the same problem every action film has, from Crank 2 to Boondock Saints. The main character is neigh indestructible. Not once in the film did I think John McClain was going to die. Of course, there are also like a thousand sequels, but you get what I mean. McClain may get bumped and bruised and scraped and glass foot disease, but you know from the beginning to the end that he is going to murder everyone.
Of course, since a lot of the suspense is gone, Die Hard can focus solely on being a fun film. To break up the action, we have scenes where John talks to LA cop Al (Reginald VelJohnson) through a radio, transforming the film into almost a buddy cop movie, wherein the two buds don’t know what they look like. These sections are done well and never last long. After all, John has a lot of killing to do, doesn’t he?
Also, I enjoy how Die Hard essentially demonizes television news. Heh heh. Screw those guys, amirite?
Anyway, if you haven’t seen Die Hard… Wait, what the hell am I saying? I think you should probably watch Die Hard again. What might seem as a simple action film is actually a deep and thrilling psychological thriller, showing us the contrast between Christmas, a time for giving and family, and our innermost desire to kill terrorists in a skyscraper with guns. It has a deep and rewarding plot that will keep you questioning your very beliefs and worldview.
Heh, just kidding. BOOM.