Resolutions 2014: Die Hard

Die Hard

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

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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.

die-hard-1-DeadTerrorist

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 (cs227@evansville.edu)! 🙂

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39 thoughts on “Resolutions 2014: Die Hard

  1. I still need to get mine to you. I will have it by the end of the week. And thank god, you finally watched Die Hard, haha. Loved the point about the grey sweater. So true lol.

  2. If you liked Bruce Willis with hair, you should watch some old Moonlighting tv episodes. He and Cybil Shepherd could really throw off some sparks.

  3. I’m surprised you hadn’t seen this. Seems your kind of movie.

    Which is why I’m not surprised you liked it.

    So do I, by the way. A lot. One of my favorite action flicks.

    • Yeah it was just one of those random gaps in my movie watching experience. But I can check it off now! Lol. It’s definitely a fun flick. I can see how it’s a favorite of yours! 🙂

  4. As you know, I’m an old (BLEEP)er and I actually saw this in the theater – this was a real game changer when it came to action movies. We transitioned from Big Schwartzy to the this new kind of thing that actually had a feasible plot and decent dialogue (ad buckets of blood and bullets). This was fantastic back then and still always good for a rewatch. Nice work Captain Caramerica!!

    I actually like Die Harder better, but it’s always hard to come across.

  5. Glad you finally saw it. Ya see, sometimes recommendations can be good 🙂

    This movie created a whole new genre of action movies and showed that an action thriller can be great fun and also keep you on the edge of your seat.

    This was Rickman’s movie debut and it made Willis a household name. They wanted Richard Gere to star in this, but I’m very glad he passed on it.

    I hope your other resolutions are as enjoyable as this was for you.

    Hope to have my (first) resolution by the end of tomorrow (Sunday) or at the latest Monday. It’s a very long movie, so hopefully I’ll get to watch it all in one sitting.

    • Well, it probably won’t be a resolution film, but hopefully some time in the near future! Now that I’ve seen the first, I’m definitely more compelled to see the others. 🙂

  6. You have to love “real life” heroes in action-adventure cinema and John McClane is definitely one of them. Pity we don’t get more of these today, instead of endless superhero movies. Die Hard is, as you might have gathered, one of my favorite films from the 1980s.

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