Ahh, “Die Hard!” The 1980s were a wonderful decade. They saw a great president (Reagan), the end of the Cold War, and some of the most memorable action movies ever put to film. Think about it for more than two seconds and you’ll have to agree with at least my last statement. Go ahead, start naming some of the greatest action movies and characters of all time. “Predator?” Check. “Rocky.” Check. “First Blood.” Check. “Rambo.” Check. “Terminator.” Check. “Die Hard.” Check. “John McClane.” Check. See what I mean? So in the minds of the folks who made the “100 Movies” list, John McTiernan’s “Die Hard” is one of the perennial action flicks. This movie is fast approaching twenty-five years old so lets see how well it has stood the test of time and if it deserves to wear the lofty threads embroidered with the word “classic.”
Should this film be considered a classic? This is another film that has become completely ingrained in the move going culture. The classic one liners, the crazy 80s haircuts with half the baddies looking like blonde Fabio’s, and the wonderfully over the top villain as played by Alan Rickman. Occasionally you’ll hear a film compared to Die Hard in the following manner, “It’s like Die Hard on a cruise ship,” or “It’s like Die Hard on a bus (aka “Speed”)!” That is a sure sign that the film has reached the pinnacle that all action movies want to reach when they grow up. Bruce Willis totally owns the character of John McClane and it is with good reason that when most people think of Willis they think of McClane. Even though this film looks dated in terms of it’s technology and clothing styles, I believe it will continue to endure as an example of an action film done right. Why? It takes a simple and enduring concept and executes it perfectly. The characters are memorable. The setting is perfect. The special effects still look great. John McClane. Need I say more?
Would I own this film? The “Die Hard” films are a guilty pleasure for me. I enjoy all of them and they provide a perfect way to spend a lazy Saturday afternoon if you are in need of an action movie fix. I have always enjoyed watching Bruce Willis on the screen. Sure he tends to play the same type of character over and over again, but he is so good at it! Even if you despise the action films of the 80s you should still watch this film. Why? Because it is the genre at its finest. There really isn’t a better film to carry the mantle for 80s action flicks than “Die Hard.”