This month in our Take Two feature Ive chosen to look at a classic film from 1988 – Die Hard. This film, directed by John McTiernan, was the first in the five-film franchise that has made 20th Century Fox over $1 billion, and stars Bruce Willis as New York’s maverick cop, John McClane.
In this first action-packed film, McClane flies in to Los Angeles to visit his estranged wife, Holly (played by Bonnie Bedelia) at her office Christmas party, which Is being held at the Nakatomi company skyscraper. Not long after this, a group of terrorists, led by Hans Gruber (played by the late, great Alan Rickman), crashes the party hell-bent on stealing $6 million in bonds.
The terrorists have to break a tricky computer code before drilling into the vault, giving McClane the necessary time to play the hero and save the day. Mc,Clane manages to take out one terrorist group member and steal his weapon and radio, which he then uses to alert the LAPD to the heist. The LAPD send Sgt Al Powell to investigate, and having checked it out, he seems happy it’s a false alarm … until as he’s leaving McClane drops the corpse of another terrorist on to Powell’s patrol car with the classic line “Welcome to the party, pal”. This causes all hell to break loose and the FBI to eventually shows up.
But before they do, McClane and Powell have a heart-to-heart radio chat while McClane continues in his role as the wise-cracking lone cop. He takes on the bad guys with cheesy catchphrases that we have all come to know and love…..
This film may be a little dated now, compared to the other films in the franchise, but it started the ball rolling and is still a classic movie. In my opinion, the only good films in this franchise were this and the subsequent sequel: Die Hard 2 – Die Harder; the franchise then sadly lost its way with films 3,4, & 5.