John McClane (Bruce Willis) is a New York police officer who has arrived in Los Angeles for Christmas. His wife (Bonnie Bedelia) has accepted a vice-president position with Nakatomi Corporation. While McClane is attending a Christmas party at his wife's new office building, a group of terrorists led by Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) seize the high-rise so that they may steal millions of dollars in negotiable bonds. McClane takes it upon himself to defeat the terrorists and free the hostages they have taken.
"Die Hard" does introduce some novel aspects to the genre - it's a nice change of pace to see an everyman hero instead of the typical secret agent or military super-soldier at the center of an action film, it's nice to see an action hero with a sensitive side, and it's also nice to see a villain with a degree of sophistication. But "Die Hard" intermixes these elements with so many loud explosions and gunfights that one becomes numb after awhile. Throw in too many supporting characters who are deficient in the intelligence department and one inexcusable resurrection at the end, and all you're left with is a film that is great to look at but nothing more. Willis more than proves he can play an action hero and Bedelia adds a welcome degree of charm to the proceedings. Yet, "Die Hard" turns out to be only a smidgen better than its action contemporaries from the period and that is not enough to make it something special.
"Die Hard" is, quite simply, as good as an action film can be. Just what makes this movie so different from all the other generic rip-offs out there? "Die Hard" has just the right blend of witty, intelligent writing (yet still not forgetting the profanity), exquisite acting, intense plot twists, and just the right amount of bloody killing. And to top it off, all of this expertly directed at break-neck speed by John McTiernan.
This DVD gives the film a cleaner, newer look, keeping it looking fresh and exciting for the digital era. The sharper picture and sound maybe even add a little something.
After "Die Hard", every action movie was just a wanna-be. They try to mimic what "Die Hard" managed, but never even come close. (This group of films even include the two sequels the film spawned.)
If you're looking for something fun, intense, intelligent, action-packed, and maybe even a little graphic, look no further than the legendary "Die Hard".