(out of 5)
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.
Directed by John McTiernan
Cinematography by Jan de Bont
Music by Michael Kamen
Production Design by Jackson De Govia
Costume Design by Marilyn Vance