Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Is Die Hard the greatest movie of all time?

I think it might be.

I swung by the Dragon tonight to pick up comics and ended up listening to Chris Sims explain to Rob Lindsey why he didn't like PREDATOR (which he'd recently just watched). And I'll give him this - for Predetor to have been a movie about a group of commandos storming the South American jungle in an all-American death-raid only to end up fighting for their lives against a viscious poacher from outer space, Sims made a pretty convincing argument that it was kinda boring.

Still, it's one of my favorites and it's hard for me to look at that movie with anything other than the eyes of an 8 year old.

As you might've guessed, another movie I have the same weakness for is DIE HARD.

But it makes me pretty happy to know that I'm not alone on this one.

Tonight, I don't really remember how exactly, but in talking about 80s action movies, somebody brought up Die Hard, and the same thing happened that always does when it gets mentioned... we stopped, cocked our head's slightly aside, looked up and sighed just a little.

Ah, Die Hard.

Man, what is it about that movie?

I actually didn't own it until just this Christmas, but I've seen it more times than I could ever count.

Is it the one-liners, maybe?
  • "Welcome to th'party, pal!"

  • "9 million terrorists in th'world and I kill one with feet smaller than my sister."

  • "Come out to the coast, we'll get together, have a few laughs.

  • "You ask for a miracle, I give you the FBI."

  • "I'm Agent Johnson, this's my partner, Special Agent Johnson... no relation."

  • "No bullets! Y'thinkI'mfuckin'stoopid, Hans?"
And of course...
  • "Yippie-kay-yay, muthatfucker."

Maybe it's the taglines?

  • "40 Stories Of Sheer Adventure!"

  • "Twelve terrorists. One cop. The odds are against John McClane... That's just the way he likes it."

  • "It will blow you through the back wall of the theater!" (Damn, that's awesome!)

Maybe it's this guy?

I didn't know this 'til recently, but Die Hard is based on the novel Nothing Lasts Forever by Roderick Mayne Thorp - the main character in the book is named Joe Leland and the villain is Tony Gruber.

Now, in my estimation, the body count for Die Hard comes in somewhere around 19.

  • All 12 terrorists (Hans, Karl, Tony, Fritz, Theo, Eddie, etc...)
  • Joseph Takagi (Holly's boss)
  • Nakatomi building guard
  • Harry Ellis ("Hey, Johnny-boy... it's me, Harry!" / idiot California guy caught snorting coke in Takagi's office)
  • Both FBI agents (Johnson & Johnson)
  • Helicopter pilot and crewman

Not as many as some blockbusters, but when you take into account that nearly all twelve terrorists were pretty much taken out by, like, one guy... well that's saying something.

And finally, one other little tid-bit I didn't know about until tonight...

Die Hard was originally pitched to Arnold Schwarzenegger as a sequel to Commando.

Unlike so many other big-budget action pictures, Die Hard holds up remarkebly well. The script is solid, the acting perfect, the characters are great, and the explosions can't be beat.

Additional Reading:

Die Hard trivia...

Die Hard corrections and mistakes...

Die HArd on IMDB...

John McTiernan on IMDB...

Live Free or Die Hard (Die Hard 4) Trailer...


Philip Looney said...

CHRIS DIDN'T LIKE PREDATOR????!?!?!?! That is insane.

Matt said...

One of the best action movies ever. I watched again last summer and I agree it holds up extremely well. Maybe even better than Commando!

Chris Sims said...

Well-done post, Chad. But incidentally? Phil thinks Predator is better than Die Hard, and may in fact be an idiot.

Philip Looney said...

Your mom.