Wow, the 1980s were a fucking awesome decade for action movies. Sure sure you can say there’s a handful in the early 90s (or 1997 if you like Starship Troopers) and late 70s but you just get so much awesomeness in one decade; all of it destroying any modern CG picture. Before Bruce Willis was Bruce Willis he was John McClane, a regular old guy stuck at a party with a bunch of stuffy businessmen and his bitch wife who wouldn’t even take his name when she moved to LA. Unfortunately a bunch of high class German (English) super terrorists showed up and tried ruining the party, but John was there to save the day.
Fortunately for Bruce his wife languished in relative obscurity while he rose to stardom after this movie alongside his trusty companion, the Dad from Family Matters. There’s 2 Steve Urkels in this movie as well, one more Steve Urkelish than the other, and eventually they join together in yet another glorious scene. Mr. McClane utilizing his cowboy powers manages to almost single handedly thwart the plots of Hans (Alan Rickman); much to Hans’ chagrin.
In addition to being amazing visually this film is also very humorous; almost every scene having a wisecrack from John or a dumb comment from the incompetent police downstairs. The police do manage to kill exactly one (1) of the terrorists before the end, thanks again to the Dad from family matters, and suffer countless casualties. The audience doesn’t really connect with those assholes though and we are forever endeared by John McClane and his heroic antics.
For all of his heroism Bruce was not yet a super hero at this point, he suffers a vast variety of injuries throughout the ordeal and by the end he’s sort of a bloody mess. Christopher Nolan is trying to sell The Dark Knight Rises (finally saw a not terrible trailer yay!) as this gritty over the top situation in which Batman gets beat down by a steroid pumping mask wearing crazy dude, but really he should just have Christian Bale play his role in the Fighter and gradually deteriorate into a bloody mess by the end of the film. Bale would be much more appealing than his Straight Lawman genericness and he’d also be quite humorous as he poked fun at how silly Bane looked and bitched at Catwoman for moving to LA. The Dark Knight/Die Hard crossover would really have been the successor to Heath’s masterpiece.