Die Hard for me was one of those films which I had heard of, probably seen at a younger age and paid no further mind to. Somewhere in the back corridors of my memory I remembered that this was supposedly a Christmas movie so I decided to watch it on Christmas Day. I will not exaggerate by saying this is probably the best action movie I have ever seen. If not, it is up there with Aliens, Predator, Terminator (1 and 2), The Matrix and RED, to a lesser but still large extent.

Bruce Willis … John McClane

Bonnie Bedelia … Holly Gennaro McClane

Reginald VelJohnson … Sgt. Al Powell

Alan Rickman … Hans Gruber

Paul Gleason … Dwayne T. Robinson

De’voreaux White … Argyle William

James Shigeta … Takagi

Alexander Godunov … Karl

Based on the 1979 Robert Thorp novel Nothing Lasts Forever, this 1988 masterpiece was directed by John McTiernan and written by Jeb Stuart and Steven E. de Souza. Die Hard follows New York City cop John McClane (Willis) as he attempts to deal with a terrorist takeover of Nakatomi Plaza while visiting his estranged wife (Bedelia). The terrorists are headed up by Hans Gruber (a stellar Rickman).

John McClane’s smartmouthed New York cop was a career-defining turn, mixing banter, action heroics and a dirty white vest to stunning effect. Acting up to him every step of the way is Alan Rickman, at his sneering best – but the script and cast are pretty much flawless. The very pinnacle of the ’80s action movie, and if it’s not the greatest action movie ever made, then it’s damn close. Empire

Without spoiling the plot which I imagine many of my readers will know well already, I was so impressed with the concept, execution and dialogue of this film. I remarked to M halfway through that this was a flawless film across many fronts and succeeds in cinematography, script, is visually stunning, has suitably menacing foreign (to the US) villains and more gripping, relentless action than I could have imagined possible. A particular highlight for me was Willis’ roof leap hanging onto a fire hose, shooting his way through one of the windows. I had to watch that again several times. Aside from being a brilliant piece of action movie making, it was just so damn cool.

In summation, Die Hard is a classic, all-American action feast which succeeds across every metric by which one measures a good film. I am no less than staggered by it in its entirety and cannot recommend it enough.