Die Hard (1988)

JOHN McTIERNAN

Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBBB.5

USA, 1988.  Twentieth Century Fox, Gordon Company, Silver Pictures.  Screenplay by , , based on the novel Nothing Lasts Forever by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by , .  Academy Awards 1988.  

Action-packed, exciting tower-of-terrors movie that features in the role that deservedly made him a superstar. What do you need when German terrorists take a Japanese-owned California building hostage?  A New York cop, of course! plays the head of terrorists who hold up a forty-story building on Christmas Eve, presumably to protest the incarceration of political prisoners, but really to steal the money hidden within the vaults underneath the building.  Willis’ wife (, excellent as always) works for the corporation, and while visiting her for Christmas he finds himself with a more gift-wrapped package than he could have expected, as he has to save everybody from the bad guys.  Watching him navigate the situation single-handed and barefoot for a whole evening is a tense experience indeed, and the character development featured in the excellent script (such as Willis conversing with policeman over a walkie-talkie) gives the film much more depth than action films are usually blessed with. Excellent editing, slick production design that gets more beautiful with each viewing and superb sound work are a real plus.

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