Wisecracking NYPD cop John McClane plans to reconcile with his estranged wife. His plan is thwarted by the terrorists who have taken her workplace hostage. In a bid to save his wife and her innocent co-workers, he brazenly attempts to defeat the bad guys.
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McTiernan's obsession with the interloper is brilliantly reversed in his follow-up to "Predator": now our hero is the one who trespasses, stalking a jungle of concrete and steel beams. It's to McTiernan's credit that, despite countless viewings, each time I watch the film I feel like I'm discovering something new about the way the director masterfully utilized the sprawling, interconnected space of Nakatomi Plaza.
I never realized how much anti-capitalist sentiment and jabs at yuppie culture there are in it until I got older. It's actually quite layered and deep in themes concerning the wishful collapse of Reagan-style greed and Piss-down, er Trickle-down, economics. More action films should take from the steady characterization and attack-and-release of Die Hard, as despite blowing shit up really good its properly developed.
Caught this on TV this Christmas for the first time in years -- all the other action films I've seen in that time have helped me appreciate what a game changer this was. A raw, funny and surprisingly violent film that makes the most of its grounded set-up and provides ample amounts of real-deal action without going implausibly OTT as the sequels did. The blueprint for recent greats like "Dredd" and "The Raid."
This is the film that made Bruce Willis an action star and he is nothing short of badass as the wise cracking New York City cop John McClane who gets put in a shitty situation. This is what an action movie is supposed to look like.