Die Hard

Adam Duncan reviews

Die Hard
Distributed by

20th Century Fox


  • Cert:
  • Cat.no: 01666DVD
  • Running time: 127 minutes
  • Year: 1988
  • Pressing: 1999
  • Region(s): 2, PAL
  • Chapters: 30 plus extras
  • Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Languages: English, Spanish
  • Subtitles: English for the hearing impaired, Swedish, Norwegian,Finnish, Potuguese, Polish, Czech, Danish, Hungarian, Icelandic andSpanish.
  • Widescreen: 2.35:1
  • 16:9-Enhanced: Yes
  • Macrovision: Yes
  • Disc Format: DVD 9
  • Price: £19.99
  • Extras: Original Theatrical Trailer, Filmographies/Biographies,Featurette.


      John McTiernan


      Lawrence Gordon and Joel Silver


      Jeb Stuart and Steven E. de Souza


      Michael Kamen


      John McClane: Bruce Willis
      Holly Gennero McClane: Bonnie Bedelia
      Hans Gruber: Alan Rickman
      Karl: Alexander Godunov
      Sgt. Al Powell: Reginald VelJohnson
      Dwayne T. Robinson: Paul Gleason
      Arglye: De’voreaux White
      Thornburg: William Atherton

John McClane(Bruce Willis) is going home for Christmas to spend the time withestranged wife and his kids. He arrives in Los Angeles and decides tovisit her workplace, the Nakatomi Plaza.

But during his visit, a group of terrorists seize control of thebuilding. Led by Hans Gruber, the terrorists plan to steal $640 millionwhich is in a vault inside the building.

McClane manages to escape them. His only outside contact is via a walkietalkie to LA cop Al Powell (Reginald VelJohnson). He then has to use=whatever he can to to stop the gang and save his wife.

Die Hard is one of the best action films of the last 15 years and isstill great after 13 years. But, unlike many films in the genre, it hasa good script and great acting as well as spectacular action scenes.

Bruce Willis really gets into character as the unlucky McClane and AlanRickman plays the best villian in the series. Most of the otherperformances are good too.

The film is presented in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio and looksfantastic. The picture is full of detail and there are hardly anyscratches, sparkle, grain or digital artifacting.

The sound is Dolby Digital 5.1 and is exactly what is needed for a filmlike this. When there is gunfire, it fills the room. When there arerumbling explosions, the room rumbles too. One of the best sound mixes Ihave ever heard.


Chapters/Trailer: There are 30 chapters covering the whole 127 minuteswhich is excellent thus providing easy access to all the best bits inthe film. A trailer is included.

Languages and Subtitles:There are two languages on the disc and theyare English Dolby Digital 5.1 and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1.There are also subtitles in English, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish,Portuguese, Polish, Czech, Danish, Hungarian, Icelandic and Spanish.

Featurette:A 5 and a half minute featurette is on the disc. It is quite enjoyableand does contain an amusing scene where a stunt requires several takesto get right. Could have been longer though.

Cast Biographies/Filmographies:There is information for Bruce Willis, Bonnie Bedelia, Alan Rickman,Reginald VelJohnson and the late Alexander Godunov.

Menu:The menu is a photographic montage with shots of Willis, Bedelia andRickman. There are animated smoke and sound effects when a selection ismade.

Overall, this is a fantastic film that is essential for any home cinemasetup. The only problem with this disc is that it is a little light onextra features. There could have been a longer featurette (an 18 minuteversion was classified by the BBFC at the time of the film’s release)and a commentary track from McTiernan or Willis would have been nice.

Despite this, Fox still gives Die Hard the treatment it deserves and isa worthy addition to any collection.


Review copyright © Adam Duncan, 2001.E-mail Adam Duncan

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