How can any Christmas be complete without a stocking full of the finest in festive cinema? And it doesn’t get much finer than John McTiernan’s action classic Die Hard; an intense and straight-forward, Christmas-themed thrill-ride that saw the birth of Bruce Willis’ career.
Set entirely over the course of one night (Christmas Eve) in a giant skyscraper overlooking L.A., Die Hard sees Willis’ renegade cop John McClane fight his way through a group of terrorists holding his wife hostage. The kicker here being of course that the terrorists are lead by none other than international super-criminal Hans Gruber, a role completely dominated by a young Alan Rickman.
As witty and charming as it is overtly violent, but Die Hard’s real selling point is McClane’s bare humanity. Released at a time when action cinema was dominated mostly by the unrelenting silliness of Schwarzenegger and Stallone, Die Hard is a far more emotive and realistic take on the classic formula and one that simply cannot be missed.
Die Hard (1988), directed by John McTiernan, is available on Blu-ray disc and DVD from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, Certificate 18.