Hello everyone! 🙂
Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!
Well, I’ve finally seen them! I’ve seen the five films of ‘Die Hard’ starring Bruce Willis as John McClane. I know, right? Imagine me watching these movies! I didn’t think that would happen either! My Dad purchased them for my Mum since she (and we) enjoyed the ‘Mission: Impossible’ movies!
My parents and I watched the ‘Die Hard’ films over Christmas 2020 and in January 2021. Rather fitting considering the first two ‘Die Hard’ films are considered ‘Christmas’ movies whilst the last three…well, aren’t really. I’m curious why they didn’t make all the ‘Die Hard’ films Christmassy films.
You know, like the ‘Home Alone’ film series. 😀 I have touched upon Bruce Willis before as I saw and reviewed the film ‘The Fifth Element’ back in 2016. So, it seems rather fitting for me to check out each of the five ‘Die Hard’ films and they’re what led Bruce Willis into super stardom over the years.
I’m sure there’s going to be a point where I’ll revisit the ‘Die Hard’ film series in full detail and I would like to aim for that being for one of my Christmas review seasons. Whether it’ll be for 2022, 2023 or 2024, I don’t know. But for now, let me share some brief thoughts on each of the five films.
The first ‘Die Hard’ film was released in 1988. A year before I was born, no less. 😀 The film has Bruce Willis as John McClane, a New York cop, flying over to L.A. on Christmas Eve to visit his wife at a party in her company’s lavish high-rise building. Why does that make me think of ‘Paradise Towers’?
Very soon, a group of terrorists, led by the late Alan Rickman as Hans Gruber, seize the building and take everyone hostage. McClane slips away bare-footed and becomes the only chance that anyone has of surviving this Christmas Eve from hell nightmare. From first viewing the movie, I found it compelling.
It was intense to see John McClane coping alone and sometimes talking to police officers down below (via walkie talkie, I think) and trying to find ways to outwit the bad guys. Alan Rickman is excellent in his villainous role and…let’s be honest…the teddy bear in the limousine is the best actor.
Cuddles: “Yay! The teddy bear’s my favourite character! Yay!”
And stop writing “Die Cuddles, die!”, Timelord!
Timelord007: (disappointed) “Doh!”
Timelord007 stops typing away at the keyboard.
‘Die Hard 2’ was released in 1990. It has Bruce Willis back as John McClane, except he’s at an airport this time as opposed to a high-rise building. It’s a snowy Christmas Eve and he waits for his wife’s plane to land at Washington’s Dulles International Airport. However, terrorists take over the place. 😦
As the terrorists take over the air traffic control system, it’s up to McClane to take on the terrorists whilst coping with an inept airport police chief, an uncooperative anti-terrorist squad and the life of his wife and everyone else trapped in places circling overhead. A lot of twists and turns happen here.
One thing I’ve noticed about these ‘Die Hard’ films, especially in the first three, is there’s a lot of F-bombing and swearing from the characters. I know that’s because these films are mostly 18 and 15-rated, but I wonder if people really talk like that in real-life. They might do by American standards. 😀 Incidentally, Colm Meaney who played Chief O’Brien in ‘Star Trek: TNG’ and ‘DS9’ appears in this movie as a pilot. Uncanny! 😀
The third film ‘Die Hard with a Vengeance’ has Bruce Willis back as John McClane and he’s joined by Samuel L. Jackson as reluctant civilian Zeus Carver battling against Jeremy Irons as Simon Peter Gruber, Hans Gruber’s brother. It was released in 1995 and this doesn’t feature a Christmas theme.
A terrorist plot occurs in New York City and John McClane becomes the personal target of Simon Gruber, who’s determined to blow up the city. McClane is accompanied by Zeus as they seek out to stop Simon in his twisted game to blow up New York and threaten people’s lives whilst stealing gold.
It was very surreal to see Samuel L. Jackson in a role before he became Mace Windu in ‘Star Wars’ and before he became Nick Fury in the ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’. Both he and Bruce Willis bounce off each other well, though I feel the whole racism prejudice theme wasn’t explored enough.
‘Die Hard 4.0’ (or ‘Let Live or Die Hard’ whether you live in the USA – what is it with these different titles for movies like the first ‘Avengers’ film?) was released in 2007. Bruce Willis as John McClane is back and is bald-headed, looking like Michael Chiklis as Ben Grimm from the ‘Fantastic Four’ films. 😀
I did see this movie first before watching the other ‘Die Hard’ films with my best mate from school Stephen. ‘Die Hard 4.0’ is considered rather divisive as it is tamer and doesn’t have much bad language and bloodthirsty-ness as the first three films. I don’t think it’s as divisive as ‘The Last Jedi’ though. 😀
I personally like ‘Die Hard 4.0’ as it has most of the ‘Die Hard’ elements featured in it. It was fun to see John McClane tackle some cyber terrorists who unleash a massive computer attack on the U.S. infrastructure. Mary Elizabeth Winstead from ‘Sky High’ is also in this as McClane’s daughter, Lucy. 🙂 There’s also Tim Russ, who played Tuvok in ‘Star Trek: Voyager’ playing an NSA agent in this.
The fifth ‘Die Hard’ film happens to be…‘A Good Day To Die Hard’. And it’s rated as the worst of the ‘Die Hard’ film series. There are two versions of the movie including the theatrical version and the ‘harder extended cut’. But I have a complaint as the extended cut happens to be total lie altogether.
For some bizarre reason, the extended cut doesn’t feature Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Lucy as she appears in the theatrical version. For argument’s sake, I saw the theatrical version as I prefer to see Mary Elizabeth Winstead than not at all. I’ll revisit both theatrical and extended cuts at a future date.
But yeah, I can see why ‘A Good Day To Die Hard’ isn’t rated highly. The action is clunky and I found most of the dialogue muffled. Bruce Willis returns as John McClane to reunite with his estranged son Jai Courtney as Jack who’s involved in his spy mission in Russia. I did feel underwhelmed by the film.
Overall, the ‘Die Hard’ films have been an enjoyable collection to watch over the Christmas period of 2020 and in early 2021. I’m sure I’ll be revisiting these movies again soon and will be giving full detailed reviews on them. The first four ‘Die Hard’ movies are way better than the fifth instalment. 🙂
Thanks for reading!
Bye for now!