I was flipping channels when I stumbled across Die Hard. I realized that I hadn’t watched it since I found out who Alan Rickman was, and since I now quite admire him, I left it on. (Or, as one reviewer has it, the “velvet-voiced Alan Rickman”.)
It’s quite entertaining, even if you’re not an action movie fan, and I can see how it was radical for its time, reshaping the genre and its expectations. It makes real all those great American myths about the need for guns and the power of the individual. Much as it makes fun of the idea of the movie cowboy, it’s firmly in the tradition of the classic Western, with the lone gunman stepping outside society’s bounds to clean up the town. It also established the supervillain for the 90s, the ruthless European businessman who has no scruples, only personal greed.
I didn’t realize that the smarmy yuppie who gets killed (in a classic example of “he’s really bad, he even kills the people working with him” plotting) was Hart Bochner, whom I better know as the director of PCU. (I adore Jeremy Piven, but not in the same way I adore Alan Rickman.)
And Die Hard has both the principals from The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller! (aka Paul Gleason, RIP, and William Atherton)