Reviewed Jun 20, 2012
Matt "Cinebro" Conti’s review:
Die Hard is one of the greatest films of all time. It has a flawless script, fantastic action, and one of the greatest action heroes to ever exist.
But what most people forget or seem to miss about Die Hard is that it's not only an action film, but it's also a character piece as well. The entire film is a battle of the wits between McClane and Gruber, as one man's improvisation faces off with another man's methodical plan. On the outside, these two men seem completely different, but as the walls of the Nakatomi Plaza fall down, the true faces of the two characters come to light.
McTiernan's direction is also fantastic. His clever use of angles and music add tension, a necessary component for any action sequence. Take a look at that scene where McClane is under a table, crawling away from a henchman who is on top and shooting at him. Any other director would have fucked this scene up big time. McTiernan uses Michael Kamen's music which is full of harsh brass noises and a slow moving camera that tracks both men's movements. The film then settles for one of the best climaxes any action film has ever offered.
Die Hard is also one of the few films to follow my self given set of 3 rules for action films to perfection.
1. We must like the hero and/or other characters on the good side.
2. Action must be comprehensible and clear. Tension should be present, but is not always a requirement.
3. The villain, if present, must make a presence. We can either love to hate him, or hate to love him. The idea is that we want to see this guy get what he deserves, and the villain should always get a satisfying death.
Die Hard is a film that has no flaws. If it does, I don't want to hear about it. It's the perfect Christmas film as well.