John McClane (Bruce Willis) is going to see his estranged wife (Bonnie Bedelia) and children for Christmas and decides to visit her at her place of work where there is a party happening n the thirtieth floor to celebrate record sales.
While at the party, a group of terrorists led by Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) take hostage of the entire building but McClane manages to slip away unnoticed. There he must overcome the odds to beat the twelve terrorists.
Die Hard is different though in that rather than having a mystery surrounding it, the dastardly Alan Rickman is revealed early and the film follows the plot in relative real time. Another difference is that the location of the film is mostly in the skyscraper after the introductions of the protagonists.
Despite the name, Die Hard manages to create a decent mixture of comedy and action. Bruce Willis' gung-ho character often tries to see the funny side of the situation, often teasing his captors as he evades their searches. His oblivious limo driver is equally amusing while the action takes place outside of his private little world.
Fantastic special effects see a whole variety of explosions and relatively unknown director John McTiernan excels in keeping the contrast between the calm hostage situation and the bullet dodging scenarios Willis finds himself in. This, combined with Alan Rickman's fantastic baddie is what gives the film such success.
Much more than just a pleasing and welcome evolution to the ordinary 1980's cop movie.