Sunday, December 11, 2005

Die Hard

I have a subscription with a postal dvd rental place like netflix but here in NZ. My rental queue has become long enought that I am now being surprised by the films that get sent to me. That latest DVD i got was Die Hard. Now everyone has probably seen this film, It is one of those films that get's replayed endlessly on TV. I had forgotten how good and gritty it is. It builds up a great sense of realism throughout the first 3/4 of the film so that by the end when the really ludicrous stunts happen it all works fine. Die Hard works so well mainly because of the two leads , Alan Rickman as Hans Gruber the villain and Bruce Willis as John Mclane the hero. An interesting point raised by the commentary was that the villain is the protagonist of the piece the action all revolves around his evil plans. Where the hero is the antagonist he reacts to the villain and tries to stop him. This is a situation that holds true in many modern action movies where the heroes are Policemen and the like. People whose jobs are essentially reactive. John McTiernan the director has a good point when he claims that failing to understand this key point is why many action movies jump from set piece to set piece and fail to make much sense. This is particularly notable in many martial arts movies. Anyway with believable main characters and brutal action Die Hard remains one of my favourite. It still manages to build tension and be exciting even watching now when I have seen it many many times.

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