Thursday, December 17, 2009

Die Hard (1988)

There’s nothing I can say about “Die Hard” that hasn’t been said before. It’s not only the action classic that set in motion an entire subgenre (remember when every 1990s action film was “Die Hard” on a …), it’s my favorite Christmas flick not involving a child’s air rifle. Or Jesus. Scratch that, it is my favorite Christmas flick. period. Don’t like that? Yippee-ki-yah ... You know the rest. I need not go into plot, if you don’t know how wonderfully Bruce Willis kicks ass in a L.A. skyscraper against a rogue group of terrorists-as-thieves, than you’re under age. Or ignorant. Alan Rickman, in his big screen debut, is hands down the coolest villain ever. His voice. The suit. The glint in his eye. Even as I root (every time) for Willis’ bleeding barefoot all-too-human scared-shitless cop John McClane, there’s never been a viewing where I don’t think, “If I were bad, I’d be Rickman’s Hans Gruber.” The dickering around to paint cops/feds as dicks is a unneeded crock, was in 1988, and still is the case. But the Everyman Hero, that elevator shaft, the helicopters, the C4, the way Michael Kamen turns Christmas tunes pitch dark, and the final confrontation and “Yippee-ki-yah” – drool. Best. Action. Film. Ever. A+

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