Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5.
USA, 1988. Twentieth Century Fox, Gordon Company, Silver Pictures. Screenplay by Jeb Stuart, Steven E. de Souza, based on the novel Nothing Lasts Forever by Roderick Thorp. Cinematography by Jan de Bont. Produced by Lawrence Gordon, Joel Silver. Music by Michael Kamen. Production Design by Jackson De Govia. Costume Design by Marilyn Vance. Film Editing by John F. Link, Frank J. Urioste.
Action-packed, exciting tower-of-terrors movie that features Bruce Willis 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! Alan Rickman 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 (Bonnie Bedelia, 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 Reginald VelJohnson 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.
Academy Award Nominations: Best Visual Effects; Best Film Editing; Best Sound; Best Sound Effects Editing