On 2 November 1987, Bruce Willis, having just dashed from the set of hit TV romcom Moonlighting, found himself gazing down from the roof of a five-storey parking garage on the Westside of Los Angeles. It was his first night shooting his new movie. He was about to make a literal leap into the unknown, jumping into the crisp LA night as a ripple of explosions lit up the dark behind him. The film, of course, was Die Hard. John McTiernan’s valentine to every-dude grit, pump-action one-liners and blood-stained vests would achieve more or less immediate recognition as one of the greatest action movies ever made. When it had its inaugural British screening at London Film Festival a little over a year later, on 27 November 1988, it reduced a room of cineastes to “oohs” and “aahs” of suspense, and whoops of excitement. On the 30th anniversary of its UK premiere, Die Hard’s genius is indisputable. Its innovation was to take a straightforward premise – criminals hijack a skyscraper (the still under construction Fox Plaza standing in for fictional Nakatomi tower) only for a lone-wolf cop to take them down one by one – and commit to it entirely. Along… Read full this story
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