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memento_mori's Movie Reviews (203)

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Die Hard 
The pinnacle of action movies!
4/4 stars

Die Hard is the pinnacle of action movies. It constantly tops best lists, is extremely quotable and an average audience member could relate to John McClane in a special way. And I don't blame them.

John McTiernan directed Die Hard, and this is a guy that knows how to direct an action movie and make it memorable. He caught the vibe of adrenaline, and channeled it very smoothly during this movie, always keeping you on the hook and interested.
The script was very well written for a 1980's action movie. It was intellectual and it showed through its grand characters. Some you wanted to hug, some you wanted to strangle.
And then of course, there's Bruce Willis as John McClane.
I don't think Bruce Willis needed to do another movie after the success of Die Hard. He made this small character stand out through his great character and ingenuity. That's back then when Bruce Willis was actually making decent movies and not just stuff for the money like today.
Even in interviews, when he is asked about the Die Hard franchise he answers he liked the first one.
But, that's another rant.
John McClane was set up very delicately. When I watched Die Hard for the first time, the first half of the movie wasn't very action-rich. It was just us getting to know him, an average guy. A foul-mouthed, good-spirited, courageous New York cop, who had problems like anyone else.
Alan Rickman's best performance is still the slow-talking, sly Hans Gruber.
Yeah, his German may sound fake (and it is), but he comes off as a menacing villain. I was invested in his character the second he came on screen and walked down the hall of Nakatomi Plaza, like he was a secret agent.

Together with the nerve-hurting wits of McClane, and the entertaining menace of Gruber, we got some of the best dialogue and line delivery ever to be in a movie.
The on-screen chemistry between those two is simply gold. And they're not even on-screen together! It all happens over the radio and we didn't need anything else, because what we got was perfection.

Die Hard is a movie I can watch all the time. The eighties were action movies' prime and this gem stands out in the center. It has so much to like, and is surprising well made.


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