Monday, December 24, 2012

Die Hard (McTiernan, 1988) - MOVIES FOR THE HOLIDAYS

So, remember when I said it'd be a bang?
I was right.

I wanted to get onto Die Hard quickly as my go-to Christmas movie. Also, was inspired by this Russian Vanilla Ice music video about the franchise.

It's not as though, the movie needs any real critical analysis. All I'd need to do is explain that John McClane's life-expectancy is FUCKING IMMORTAL, go home and get laid because the libido I get just from thinking about jumping off of exploding rooftops is not going anywhere soon.

But, it's a big deal of a film not just for its raw action movie scenes of savage fistfights and it's literal up-hill struggle up the Nakatomi building. It's a big-deal because it doesn't totally abandon the plot in favor for these moments and, in fact, the plot actually escalates the stakes Bruce Willis' John McClane faces.

But, I'm getting ahead of myself. I ought to introduce the plot, first. New York cop McClane goes to L.A. to visit his wife, Holly (Bonnie Bedelia) in a surprise Christmas visit. Unfortunately, the distance has strained their relationship severely.
Then Hans Gruber, Alan Rickman's breakout performance, crashes the party with his 'terrorist' buddies and start taking hostages. However, despite their appearance as terrorists, they are only there to rob a significant sum of money from Holly's boss and make an explosive entrance that will ensure Gruber and his team are never caught.
McClane, however, who evades capture early on, realizes 'Hey, I'm John McClane!' and cowboys his way into killing every last one of the robbers before the night is over.

The plot seems like generic Hollywood action fare, because it is. Hostages are taken, Hero saves hostages, Hero kills bad guy. But the Die Hard formula makes for each cliche action plot-point to connect, so it doesn't just occur as a sudden amount of happenings, but instead as the story flows along with the action. Gruber and McClane's initial face-to-face is such a fun and tense moment in action cinema and, unless I'm mistaken, it's going to be the only time one will hear Alan Rickman in an American accent. And it's hilarious how real it is.
The moment McClane takes off his shoes, you know it's going to be a plot point.

But the movie's main claim to fame is completely the character of John McClane himself. He made Bruce Willis a household and he's the action hero we all love as an audience. He's gets excited with us when he's about to kill another robber, he comments on the ridiculousness of his situation when he's stuck in a vent or when he's about to jump off a 40-story roof to avoid being blown up. He makes up new quips for us to go along with and he puts everybody in their place when they give him shit about the situation.

'Yippe-Kay-Yay, Motherfucker!'

John McClane is one of the great movie heroes. It's a shame that the sequels of Die Hard could never live up to the premier film's greatness. Now, I'm finnat watch it again, without giving this review a proper conclusion. Talking about it makes me excited.

Later, bitches.
And Merry Christmas, I guess.

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