John McClane has a very bad day when terrorists take over the Nakatomi Plaza.
John McClane: ‘Nine million terrorists in the world and I gotta kill one with feet smaller than my sister.’
John McClane: ‘Welcome to the party, pal.’
Hans Gruber: ‘I’m going to count to three, there will not be a four. Give me the code.’
John McClane: ‘Yippee-ki-yay, motherfucker.’
NYPD detective John McClane (Bruce Willis) has travelled to Los Angeles to see his estranged wife. It’s Christmas Eve, and he’s set to join her at the Nakatomi Plaza for her office party. Needless to say, things don’t go quite to plan…
Before McClane even enters the building (he has only got as far as the underground car park), the party is crashed by German terrorist Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) and his highly-skilled gang. The Euro-villains are after the $640m of bail bonds locked in the building’s vault, and it’s up to our have-a-go hero to stop them, using brain, brawn and smart-mouthed-quips.
Wearing little more than a greasy vest, McClane’s resourcefulness is pushed to the sky-scraping limit, as he goes about securing the safety of the high-tech high-rise in one of the most effective action premises ever.
Better on Blu-ray:
‘The Nakatomi leap’
The imposing building looks impressively shiny in high-def, but it’s the action that really crackles here. The claustrophobic set-pieces are lent an added urgency by the improved sound and picture quality.
McClane’s leap from the top of the Nakatomi Plaza is the film’s crowning set-piece though, and it remains a benchmark feat of derring-do within the genre. McClane is stuck on the roof and he needs to get down a couple of levels, improvising with the kind of swing that’d make Robin Hood proud.
Only a fire hose and McClane’s wishful thinking stand between terrorist-smashing victory and being splattered on the pavement some 35 stories down. The open-air sequence makes for a nice contrast with the restrictive action of the rest of the movie.
• Commentary By Director John McTiernan And Production Designer Jackson DeGovia. • Scene-Specific Commentary By Special Effects Supervisor Richard Edlund. • Personal Scene Selections. • The News Casts Featurette. • Interactive Still Gallery. • Trailers And TV Spots.