It's 1988 and Bruce Willis has hair in Die Hard. The 80s were pretty much the birth of the action movie. I'm sure some may say they started earlier, but it really took the big three of Bruce Willis, Arnold and Sylvester Stallone to perfect movies that were mainly about special effects and snappy one lines, rather than having any drama at all.
The premise behind Die Hard is simple. Let's mix in Willis, some terrorists and a lot of explosions and somehow it's pure gold. Die Hard could make a case for being the best rewatchable movie of all time. If I'm ever skimming through cable, and it's on, I stop. Don't we all stop? Don't we all wanna see that scene where he jumps off the roof holding the fire hose? I bet you dollars to donuts (which really is win win either way) that Michael Bay saw this scene, creamed himself, and said, "Hell, with scenes like that, having things like tension, dialogue, acting and a story don't even matter! I can just use explosions and THEY'LL carry the movie!" (SIDE NOTE: I've wanted to discuss this more and still may, but you can always tell how good a director is by the actors he usually works with. Hitchcock loved James Stewart; Scorsese had his DeNiro and now his DiCaprio; Zemeckis had Tom Hanks; the Coen Bros have Tuturro, Goodman and Clooney; and
Anyways, now that director John McTiernan has his action idea in place all he needs is some loathsome characters and a one by one killing spree. What's great is, nearly everyone in this movie is bad in various degrees, except for John McClain's family, the limo driver, and the black cop. Aside from your terrorists, you have the "idiotic" FBI (We're going to need some more FBI guys), a terrible police chief, one of the hostages being a sleazy wheelin' and dealin coke fiend, and naturally, and obnoxious news reporter which would become a stereotypical role for all action/disaster movies from here on in, kind of like dissenting old white guy republican.
Everyone's in place, so it's time for McClain to kill some terrorists. First, it's the blond guy wearing glasses, followed by another blond guy. Next up is a short black haired guy who meets his demise with a catchy one liner by Bruce Willis. He gets two more terrorists with a plastic explosive, followed by a long brown haired guy, and another black haired guy. The most famous is the long blond haired dude that comes back to life at the end, so I guess he doesn’t count on Willis' death toll. There's the Asian fella and Mr. Receptionist. Lastly, he finally kills Hans via slow motion shot of him falling off the building. It looks as if his death toll is 10, which is pretty impressive. Topping it all off, is the limo driver, Argyle, ends up being the one to fight the one bad black guy at the end, so you get some good black on black violence.
This is Die Hard. This is the best action movie ever. This is the one that sets the standard for all others.