When Tough Guys Ruled the Cinema- Episode 18: Die Hard
Taking over the Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles seemed like a piece of cake for a bunch of malevolent terrorists, but when they get a load of John McClane, they find out that this one-man army is all kill and no mercy. “Die Hard” is an explosion of action about to take you on the ride of a lifetime.
Detective John McClane, played by Bruce Willis (“Surrogates”), is a tough, no-nonsense cop who has just arrived in Los Angeles to spend Christmas with his wife. However, Christmas is not going to be so merry for McClane when terrorists, led by Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman, “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”), crash a Christmas party in the Nakatomi Plaza, where John’s wife works and holds everyone hostage. With no way in or out, it is up to McClane to take matters into his own hands and eliminate the terrorists himself.
McClane does everything he can to survive and save the hostages. There are many shootouts taking place during this epic battle and even when he seems to come out on top, because of his tough-guy persona and gritty attitude, he makes you get out of your seat and cheer him on.
When the noise gets loud from the Nakotomi Plaza, Sgt. Al Powell, played Reginald VelJohnson (who seems to play the same cop role in every movie), is called to Nakatomi to check out the scene.
An intense scene where a flying body goes through Powell’s windshield to get his attention (compliments of McClane) really gets the movie jumpstarted and the fireworks going. An all-out battle filled with gun shells and shattered glass spreading through the air will literally have you on the edge of your seat. Powell’s relationship with McClane gives the film a good flow as he teams up with him, finding out specific information about the terrorists and what he can do to help the latter stay alive. Of course, McClane encounters some intense and nail-biting fights with some terrorists. The result for the bad guys is simply getting shot up, strangled and even thrown out of the building. The bottom line is that McClane takes care of business, his way.
Willis gives a great performance as the tough-guy cop with a typical New York attitude. (His now-famous one liners make him that much more likable.) With that said, “Die Hard” is one of those films that will want to make you grab your popcorn, sit down and enjoy a total mayhem of gunfire and bombs going off at an alarming rate.
When it’s all said and done, McClane is the underdog of action cinema. His courage and toughness alone will be remembered in movie history for years to come. If you enjoy a rugged, in-your-face monstrosity of fun, then “Die Hard” is the ultimate choice.
Yippee-ki-yay…you know the rest.
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