A Christmas movie in April? Don’t even get Tom started. For this week’s Late Late Review he’s watched Die Hard for the first time. Yippie-Ki-Yay Motherf***ers…
Release Date: 1988
Awards: Nominated for four Academy Awards: Best sound Effects Editing, Best Film Editing, Best Sound and Best Visual Effects.
Rating: Rotten Tomatoes shows an approval rating of 93% and an average rating of 8.5/10 for this movie. It’s also been ranked in the top five Christmas movies (more on that later) for Digital Spy, Entertainment Weekly and Forbes, and sits on the number one spot with Empire. Quite the claim.
You haven’t seen this either? Here’s a plot summary. Our hero John McClane (Bruce Willis) is a New York cop visiting his estranged wife for Christmas. He turns up to her work Christmas party and within minutes of arrival, the party goes up the proverbial creek when Hans Gruber (a youthful Alan Rickman) and his gang of baddies hold everyone hostage while they try to rob the company vault of bearer bonds – a notoriously dodgy way of holding securities to be honest.
I got so much grief when I said I was watching this movie for The Late Late Review. People really love this film and apparently take it quite personally when they find out you haven’t seen it. Also, we have got to talk about this being a “Christmas Film”. I’m not having it. Yes, the story happens at Christmas and the end credits start with a Christmas song, but it is not a Christmas film. I love Miracle on 34th Street, but it would be weird to watch it in April. You can literally watch this any time of year and not worry about feeling too festive afterwards.
Other than that, don’t look to me for any disagreement about how great this film is. Honestly, I was tired when I started watching the movie, the lights were turned off and I was on a sofa – I honestly thought I’d have to watch it in two sittings, but it had me right from the beginning. It’s far-fetched enough to be incredibly entertaining, but not so bonkers as to make you scoff the entire way through it; to be clear, it is bonkers – but wonderfully so!
John McClane – or Roy, to his new friend Al – is a capable character (whose white vest gets dirty really quickly). He’s the grown-up version of the Home Alone kid, setting traps for the bad guys and causing them all kinds of hassle. The action is brilliant and there are plenty of edge-of-your-seat moments, not least the use of a gun and a fire hose respectively as makeshift grappling hooks for abseiling, explosions galore, and the bit with the glass (if you know, you know).
The characterisation overall is great and Alan Rickman is, as ever, amazing. There’s no denying that the man does a great villain. This was actually the first big Hollywood movie for both Alan Rickman and Bruce Willis, and you can totally see why they ended up with the careers they did.
This is the first movie so far that I really wish I’d seen sooner. It’s the quintessential ’80s action movie with a happy ending.
But seriously – Bearer Bonds? Really? Look at them raining down. What a nightmare.
Is there an iconic film or album you think I should have experienced by now? Let me know @MoveToTRASHUK #latelatereview