Movie Review – Die Hard (1988)
Genre – Action
Director- John Mc Tiernan
Cast – Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia
No matter how many times you get to watch Die Hard, it is always a winsome treat for the core action diehard fan. Right from the start which subtly hints at an impending conundrum for the cool plucky cop from NYPD, it grips the viewer who gets ready rubbing his palms in glee anticipating some great entertainment.
Landing down in a twinkling LA in the prospect of getting together for a family reunion with his wife and kids for Christmas, NYPD Cop John McLane (Bruce Willis) heads straight for the imposing Nakatomi Plaza, headquarters of the rising power that is the Nakatomi Corporation, where his wife Holly Genero (Bonnie Bedelia), the firms’ finest deal maker, is earnestly waiting for him at the ongoing Christmas blast and heavy celebrations being thrown for the firms’ top notch employees for having clinched a lucrative winner contract.
As the two get together and a delighted Holly takes him away from the crowd, a very upset John McLane reminisces and begins to grind about the past bringing up their erstwhile differences which resulted in the two of them ending up in two extreme corners of the country. As the argument gets heated, and Holly heads back to the party gathering, they are totally unaware of the fact that the entire building is gradually being taken over by an extremely professional outfit of terrorists.
Headed by the sophisticated and ruthless Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) and his able Lieutenant Karl, they quickly gather together all the occupants of the highrise in a single floor as hostages and at the very onset, send a spine chilling message conveying their serious intentions in accomplishing their purpose.
Just one little error: they miss the big one-John McLane.
As they go about implementing their intricate plans, McLane is completely confounded at the sudden turn of events but manages to gather himself, just. He launches a counter using his quick thinking and brash attitude as armour and goes about shrinking the strength of his stonehard opponents bit by bit. As the situation gets more and more intense and the motives of the terrorists a tad puzzling, even the city cops who are supposed to be on his side fail to empathise with him, and instead turn against him suspecting him to be a part of a conspiracy hatched by the terrorists. McLane starts to lose his usual calm and a sense of gloom and negativity dawns as the reality of the situation sinks in. His lone moral support in this droopy scenario is the portly patronising LAPD cop Sergeant Al Powell (Reginald Veljohnson). In the middle of all the rushy happenings is a pushy news reporter (William Atherton) who, with his brash and blinkered approach, could go to any length to get his scoop, endangering innocent lives in the process.
The plot moves at breakneck speed showcasing the reluctant heros’ heroics and just rightly slows down at the few speedbrakers as if to give a slight relief to the lonely protagonist, and then again rushes further ahead at an exhilarating pace to storm right into the finale where a fitting end awaits, with the diehard underdog McLane testing the steely resolve of a frustratingly persistent Hans Gruber.
Some other catchy characters that add a zing to the movie in spite of their brief moments are the motor mouth chauffeur Argyle, the annoying irritant Deputy Dwayne Robinson and the snooty FBI agents Johnson and Johnson.
The testimony to Die Hard being one of the all time greats is its viewing never fails to engross with its gripping action thrills set at a frenetic pace on a funfilled Christmas evening amongst some memorable screen characters.
Suraj D. Shetty