12.25.2009

12 Days of Christmas: Die Hard

"Now I have a machine gun. Ho ho ho."

It's Christmas Eve at the Nakatomi Plaza in L.A. and for New York cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) it's going to be a long night.

Terrorists lead by Alan Rickman have seized the building and one of the hostages is McClane's estranged wife Holly.

Based on a novel by Roderick Thorp titled Nothing Lasts Forever. The book itself was a sequel to Thorp's earlier novel The Detective which was made into a film starring Frank Sinatra.

John McTiernan directed Predator the year earlier and with this film secured his position as one the best action directors for a brief period. He followed this film up with The Hunt For Red October. It slowly went down hill for him there, Medicine Man, Last Action Hero, Die Hard: With a Vengeance, The 13th Warrior, The Thomas Crown Affair and then the terrible remake Rollerball.

The movie uses Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 throughout the film, terrorists hum it, and it plays through out several big scenes that I won't spoil.

Alan Rickman is brilliant as Hans Gruber, the leader of the terrorists and Bruce Willis is the perfect everyman action hero. He can get hurt (one particularly nasty scene has Willis pulling glass out of his foot) and he can crack wise with the best.

This film is one of my favorites and considered by many to be one of the best action films of all time.