After The IPC led the charge into this series yesterday with a hilarious review of The Godfather, I’m putting in my two cents on a film resolution of my own: Die Hard! I hadn’t intended to watch this one for Resolutions, but after a very strong reaction from several readers upon hearing that I hadn’t seen it, I decided that maybe Die Hard was worth a watch. And you know what? It was!
Die Hard (1988)
Synopsis: “John McClane, officer of the NYPD, tries to save wife Holly Gennaro and several others taken hostage by German terrorist Hans Gruber during a Christmas party at the Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles.” –www.imdb.com
What I liked:
- Bruce Willis. He’s a wiseass tough-guy and a New York cop, and he’s absolutely wonderful. So many action heroes nowadays are bland and forgettable, but John McClane is bursting with personality. Also, Willis has HAIR in this. It blows my mind!
- Alan Rickman. As viciously clever terrorist Hans Gruber, Rickman is spot-on. Though let’s be real—he’s spot-on in pretty much everything he does.
- The supporting cast. Reginald VelJohnson as McClane’s radio buddy Sgt. Al Powell, Hart Bochner as coke-snorting business sleazeball Harry Ellis, De’voreaux White as sassy limo driver Argyle—I could go on for a while because even some of the smallest characters are fantastic.
- The script. There are some great, memorable lines here. Of course, everybody knows McClane’s famous “Yippee ki-yay mother******,” but how about when we get to hear Alan Rickman drawl Santa’s signature “Ho ho ho?” And there are plenty of gems when McClane is talking to himself or through the radio. You can tell the writers had a ball with this.
- The sheer fun. With liberal doses of humor and cheesiness, this is an action film that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and that’s a beautiful thing.
What I didn’t like:
- Not understanding the German. Is there any reason we can’t have subtitles? And speaking of the Germans…
- One of them is wearing a sweatsuit. It’s great material for McClane to write on later (see above picture), but it’s impossible to look hardcore in a gray, very ‘80s sweatsuit (sorry, Rocky).
- The FBI agents are useless idiots. Plus, they’re willing to sacrifice several of the hostages. I realize they’re supposed to be painted in a somewhat cruel light, but c’mon…really?
- Al’s cheesy redemption at the end. Good for him and all, but it feels very forced.
A Worthy Resolution? That would have to be a resounding “yes.” I was under the impression that Die Hard was a generic action film that was well-loved simply because it was Willis’s big break. But it’s more than that. Die Hard has great characters, a solid script, and a very fun story. I would recommend it to action fans (and Willis fans) in a heartbeat.
My Grade: A-
I just checked out a few more films from the library that I can’t wait to watch! I have come to the conclusion that film resolutions are the best. After all, most resolutions are big, year-long commitments, but you can knock these out in a few short hours! Haha. As I said yesterday, if you’d like to fulfill a resolution, too, comment below or email me (firstname.lastname@example.org)! 🙂