Sunday, May 23, 2010

Greatest Movies That Made Going to the Movies Suck #6- Die Hard

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Oliver Appears Courtesy of Movie News First

Die Hard is one of the best modern action movies around; indeed it's hard to believe that it was released 22 years ago. It stands the test of time, like all great action movies.

Moreover, unlike many other films in its genre, its success may be attributed to several factors, such as its witty and very excellent script and not just the action sequences.

Of course, a great cast is also crucial. Die Hard is headed up by Bruce Willis and features Mr. Alan Rickman (love him!). It was directed by John McTiernan, who was the director of other greats such as Predator, The Hunt for Red October and The Thomas Crown Affair, the latter of which was completely underrated, in my opinion anyway.

The role of cynical New York Detective John McClane shot Willis to stardom and he plays the role with relish. In short, McClane goes to L.A. for Christmas break to visit his estranged wife, Holly. What should have been a cheery Christmas holiday turns into a gun fest, where McClane takes on European terrorists, led by Hans Gruber (Rickman).

Unlike most eighties film villains, Gruber's actions money-motivated. He uses guns to storm the Takagi Corporation's Christmas party and steal millions of dollars from the company. "Die Hard" broke new ground, as it introduced us not only to the terrorist entrepreneur, but also to a new action character, the "down on his luck" hero McClane, who is in the wrong place, at the wrong time.

Die Hard will live on as one of the best action movies ever and is held up by the script filled with comic gems and classic one-liners, such as ("Yippy-Ki-Yay, mother******)!

This spawned countless imitations such as Under Siege, Cliffhanger, Speed, Passenger 57 and indeed the Die Hard franchise. Unfortunately, apart from a few notable exceptions few "Try-Hards" came close to Die Hard's witty sarcasm and level of excitement.


  1. Most, if not all, conversations in the studio conference rooms went down like this after DIE HARD...

    1: I got a great idea for an action movie!

    2: Sell it to me!

    1: It's DIE HARD on/in a (insert easily recognizable, public landmark/mode of transport)

    2: Genius!!!!!

    Sad days followed! Good write up!

  2. I was just gonna write what Sebastian wrote. So true.

  3. Excellent post. Die Hard marked the high point of the action/adventure movies era and unfortunately, may well have stumped creativity in its wake with the countless copycats.

    Welcome to LAMB!

  4. @Sebastian & Aiden; haha, so true and yes so sad...

    @Castor; Absolutely, it's a pity that such a great movie is often followed by weak copycats.

  5. Great post!!

    Die Hard definitely stands out as one of the inimitable greats of that time :) As you said, there is a really great combination of comedy and action, and so many failed attempts at that were to follow. Even in Robin Hood recently, there were a few Die Hard action sequences to be found!

  6. Nice post Olive oil. ;-) I love Die Hard, it is effortless to watch and enjoy, like any good action movie should be. Great Saturday night-in movie (though it's pretty good mon-fri too).

  7. @Róisín That's true actually about Robin Hood, the worst one has to be Crowe coming out of the water, think you know which one I mean!

    @Ronan; It's definitely easy and so entertaining to watch alright, I've watched it so many times, but I still haven't tired of it.

    @Mike; thanks Mike for the opportunity to post this and for organising the event:)

  8. I'd be remiss if I didn't chime in that at least one of the movies you mention is almost as good as Die Hard. I believe Speed is a close second to Die Hard in the pantheon of action movies. I still grip whatever object is closest to me when I watch Speed, and speaking of shooting people to stardom, has there ever been a more charming introduction of talent than Sandra Bullock in Speed?

  9. Vance, I second you on Speed, which was an honourable mention for this list since it went on to influence a lot of bad movies itself including the sequel.