An NYPD cop becomes the only person who can stop a gang
of terrorists who have taken over Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles.
Die Hard (1988)
Directed by John McTiernan
Written by Jeb Stuart and Steven E. de Souza
Starring Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia,
Reginald VelJohnson, Paul Gleason, William Atherton,
Hart Bochner, Robert Davi, Grand L. Bush,
De'vorreauz White, Andreas Wisniewski
Based on the novel Nothing Lasts Forever by Roderick Thorp
Oscar Nominations - Best Sound Mixing, Best Film Editing,
Best Sound Editing, Best Visual Effects
I think very few people would dispute the fact that Die Hard is one of the greatest action films of all time. Not only does it feature the breakout performances of both Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman, but it spawned countless imitators and revitalized the action genre for decades to come. Here we are, it's 2016, and we're still obsessed with it. The beauty of this film is its simplicity. It's rooted in realism thanks to a grounded performance from Bruce Willis. He wasn't super cut like Stallone or Schwarzenegger. He was the guy from Moonlighting.
Die Hard is easily the best and most memorable in what became an uneven franchise that pretty much shot itself in the foot after the fifth installment. Thankfully, we'll always have part one. In this film, we see Officer John McClane (Willis) do whatever it takes to stop a ruthless terrorist gang led by international criminal Hans Gruber (Rickman). Armed with his wits, his bare feet, and a stained wifebeater, McClane single-handedly takes these guys down one by one, earning his rightful place in the action hero hall of fame. Along the way, he's aided by the voice of Sergeant Al Powell (Reginald VelJohnson), a fellow cop who knows what it's like to face impossible odds. I don't mean to gush, but this movie is a classic.
As I said before, there's a reason this film has lasted this long. It's because it is a pure, unaltered, balls-out action flick. Die Hard blew everybody's mind and to this day, it remains one of the most important action films ever made. I don't even want to think about the state of the action genre had Die Hard not come about. Such a world is too grim to even consider.