Aneesh Chaganty

Movie #226 Die Hard

In Uncategorized on June 10, 2011 at 11:38 PM

Movie #226 Die Hard

(1988, US, d. John McTiernan)

Often cited in screenwriting classes for its revolutionary structure, Die Hard in a modern context is nothing spectacular. It’s funny, sure. We have a ‘fish in new waters’ story with a like-able hero played by Bruce Willis. It’s funny and witty but we can – for the most part – predict where the story is going. However, that doesn’t change the importance of this film. For Die Hard  was one of the first films to introduce a new form of storytelling. Instead of “Man Trying to Accomplish Something VS Bad Guys”, we have “Man Trying to stop something VS Bad Guys”. This is the film that spawned countless rip-offs and homages, some that even made it quite big in the box office (Speed was pitched as “Die Hard on a bus”). With this ‘backwards’ structure, writers Jeb Stuart and Steven E. de Souza were able to work in great characters and interesting set-ups, all of which pay off at the end. The action is satisfying and the performances, especially from Bruce Willis, in his star-making turn here as Detective John McClane, are wonderful. A Christmas gem at its finest (not kidding), Die Hard is a wonderful and enjoyable action flick.


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