Free "Die Hard" Movie Review Essay Sample

Die Hard is the first in a sequel starring Bruce Willis, Reginald Veljohnson, Robert Davi, Richard Parker and James Shigeta. The movie was directed by John Mc Tiernan and Beau Marks and produced by Joel Silver, Charles Gordon and Lawrence Gordon among others. The setting is in 1988 Los Angeles.

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The movie opens with John McLane (Willis) an NYPD officer travelling to LA to meet his estranged wife who is in the verge of leaving him. They meet at the airport and continue to her office where they are to attend a Christmas party. The tension between McLane and his wife is tangible despite the fact that their daughter is also present. As the party is going on a group of German terrorists are on their way to invade the same building, take everyone hostage and steal the money in the safe. They manage to capture everyone with the exception of a few casualties and of course Officer McLane who manages to escape albeit being unarmed and barefoot. What ensues next has been described as incredible considering the date of the movie setting and making of the movie. Here McLane manages to fight the terrorist; he salvages the situation with the terrorists and in the process saves his marriage. The terrorist in the other hand end up with nothing for their ambition and hard work.

Many have described the movie as one of the greatest because it introduces a new concept in a time when other producers were focusing on a totally different idea. The concept of terrorism in the domestic USA is a concept that still draws a lot of attention today from many film makers. Die hard went a head and was immortalised with three other sequels all starring Bruce Willis as John McLane.

In addition to the stellar cast and intense plot, Die Hard stood out for its innovative use of practical effects and stunts. The filmmakers employed groundbreaking techniques to create realistic and heart-pounding action sequences. Bruce Willis, known for his commitment to roles, performed many of his stunts, adding authenticity to the character of John McLane. The dynamic between Willis and Reginald Veljohnson, who played Sgt. Al Powell, also contributed to the film's success. Their interactions, often through a two-way radio, showcased a unique camaraderie that resonated with audiences. Powell's character served as a crucial anchor for McLane, providing not just logistical support but also emotional resonance in the face of adversity.

Die Hard's impact on the action genre extended beyond the screen. It influenced a shift in the portrayal of action heroes, paving the way for more relatable and flawed protagonists. John McLane wasn't a superhuman figure but an everyday man forced into extraordinary circumstances, a departure from the larger-than-life heroes prevalent in the genre. The film's setting within the Nakatomi Plaza added a layer of claustrophobia and suspense. The confined space became a character in itself, heightening the stakes as McLane navigated through the building's various levels to outsmart the terrorists. This setting, coupled with the real-time unfolding of events, created a sense of urgency that kept audiences on the edge of their seats.

Die Hard's success also owed much to its memorable antagonist, Hans Gruber, portrayed by Alan Rickman. Gruber's suave yet menacing demeanor added complexity to the character, making him one of the iconic villains in cinematic history. The cat-and-mouse game between Gruber and McLane added depth to the narrative, transcending the typical hero-versus-villain dynamic. Furthermore, the film's soundtrack, composed by Michael Kamen, played a pivotal role in enhancing the emotional beats of the story. The use of music, particularly the theme "Ode to Joy" during key moments, became synonymous with Die Hard's cinematic identity.

In conclusion, Die Hard's success was a result of a combination of factors—innovative filmmaking techniques, a compelling cast, a unique setting, and a departure from traditional action hero tropes. Its enduring legacy is a testament to its ability to break new ground in the action genre and influence the way audiences perceive and engage with action films.


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