Die Hard: The Ultimate Visual History Hardcover
By James Mottram & David S. Cohen
Foreword by John McTiernan
Publisher: Insight Editions
Release date: October 30, 2018
In this writer’s opinion, Die Hard is the greatest action film ever made. Based on Roderick Thorp’s Nothing Lasts Forever, John McTiernan’s 1988 classic combined all the elements that make for the perfect action movie: a great protagonist, an equally detestable villain, tremendous action set pieces, and insanely quotable dialogue. It made the careers of its stars, Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman, and it proved that an ’80s blockbuster didn’t need a muscle-bound hero to sell tickets. Willis played John McClane like the everyman who wanted to be a Will Rogers-esque cowboy, and Rickman’s delightfully evil Hans Gruber became the prototype for action bad guys. 30 years and 4 sequels later, James Mottram and David S. Cohen along with Insight Editions bring you Die Hard: The Ultimate Visual History. This epic 230+ page book is the perfect holiday gift for the Die Hard enthusiast in your life.
Last weekend my kids and I saw Skyscraper, a decent if not unnecessary action thriller starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Paying so much homage it bordered on full ripoff, Skyscraper embraced its parallels to both The Towering Inferno and Die Hard in the marketing of the film. In the end, nearly every critic called it for what it was: another in a long line of Die Hard clones that are summed up by the now almost cliche “Die Hard in a _______.”
Die Hard came out 30 years ago this month (July 15, 1988). The film launched careers and redefined the action genre. It is, in my opinion, the greatest action movie ever made and one of the few perfect films. Based on Roderick Thorp’s 1979 novel Nothing Lasts Forever, Die Hard was directed by John McTiernan and of course starred Bruce Willis as sarcastic New York City cop John McClane out west in LA to reconnect with his estranged wife (Bonnie Bedelia) over Christmas. McTiernan is a hugely underrated action director with Predator, The Hunt for Red October, Die Hard With a Vengeance, and the silly Last Action Hero under his belt.