Die Hard is as high tech, rock hard and souped up as an action film can be, a suspenser [based on the novel Nothing Lasts Forever by Roderick Thorp] pitting a lone wolf cop against a group of terrorists that has taken over a highrise office tower.
Bruce Willis plays John McClane, an overworked New York policeman who flies into Los Angeles at Christmas to visit his two daughters and estranged wife Holly (Bonnie Bedelia).
Planning a rather different holiday agenda are the terrorists led by Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman). The dastardly dozen invade the plush 30th floor offices of Nakatomi Corp during its Christmas party, and hold the employees hostage as a computer whiz cracks a code that will put the mainly German bad boys in possession of $600 million in negotiable bonds.
Slipping out of the party in the nick of time with nothing but his handgun, Willis is the fly in the ointment of the criminals’ plans, picking off one, then two more of the scouts sent on pest control missions.
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Beefed up considerably for his role, Willis is amiable enough in the opening stretch, but overdoes the grimacing and heavy emoting later on. The cooler and more humorous he is the better. Rickman has a giddy good time but sometimes goes over the top as the henchman.
1988: Nominations: Best Editing, Sound, Sound Effects Editing, Visual Effects