40 Storeys High – with Suspense, Excitement and Adventure on every level!
Plot: An NYPD officer tries to save his wife and several others taken hostage by German terrorists during a Christmas party at the Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles.
Director: John McTiernan
Released: February 1989
When you think of the great ’80s action films, there are three films that spring to mind, The Terminator, Rambo and of course Die Hard, which when it came out it changed the course of the action genre forever, replacing the normal muscle-bound hero with an ordinary guy that you feel could be killed at any point in the film. If it was Schwarzenegger, he would never get so much as get a scratch.
So what makes Die Hard one of the single greatest action movie ever? Easily. the premise is basic and the plan of attack is simple. When terrorists take over a building and take his wife hostage, McClane (Willis) is on hand to stop them. Yet the Brilliant script filled with witty writing, every set-up pays off and even today contains many wonderful little touches of humour. It’s safe to say that John McTiernan really knocked it out of the park with his direction and produced a thrill ride from start to finish.
I feel that Die Hard succeeds is because every challenge McClane has to face is realistic and can be overcome. As the tension grows, the problems facing John become increasingly harder, but at no point does it seem as if he has become a super-cop to prevail.
The cast responds to the script strongly. Personally, I feel that Willis has never been better, however, it’s Rickman that leaves the biggest impression; like in Robin Hood, he is delightfully over the top at the bad guy, delivering great lines with a great presence.
Die Hard features quality in all departments from the cast, the crew to the wonderful score from Michael Kamen, all of which combine to produce a film that all subsequent action films wished to emulate. It’s also the best ever Christmas film.