A Good Day to Recap Die Hard: film-by-film analysis of the seminal series


People are usually surprised when they find out about my deep and abiding love of the Die Hard series and my outspoken appreciation of the 80s and 90s action genre in general, but ever since I first heard John McClane bellow his trademark Yippe KiYay, I’ve been a devoted fan.

Unfortunately, the fifth addition to the series is a total miss. Spare yourself the drudgery of its clunky “plot” and misfired one-liners, and check out the slideshow we ran on Details.com instead.

After a six-year hiatus, Bruce Willis is back as Officer John McClane in the fifth installment in the epic action movie series Die Hard. Since 1988, McClane has fought sharp-suited thieves, terrorists, money-launderers, and plenty of vaguely ethnic bad guys, and even though he’s hopped a plane or two in the past (often just before they explode), this is the first time he’ll leave his home turf, heading to Russia to lend his CIA-agent son a hand in bringing down a nuclear-weapons heist. It’s possible that the rest of the plot won’t make much more sense, but who cares, really? After all, it didn’t make sense for Hans Gruber to hold up Nakatomi Plaza on the night of the company Christmas party when the building would have been empty the following day, and that didn’t stop the very first Die Hard from blowing 1988 away.

What’s that, you say? Who’s Hans Gruber? What’s Nakatomi Plaza? If it’s been a while since you’ve revisited the Die Hard saga, click through our timeline. We’ll bring up to speed before you can say #YippeeKiYay (yeah, it’s got a hashtag now).


Die Hard (1988)
After a cross-country flight to L.A. to visit his estranged family for Christmas, all NYPD Officer John McClane wants is a little R&R, but only moments after his plane touches down he’s crawling commando-style through air ducts and walking barefoot over glass. And even though there are a dozen Germans machschnelling all over the place, he saves the day andgets the girl (or he convinces his wife to stop using her maiden name on her business cards and let him stay in the guest room while they work through some issues—same thing).

Click through to Details to see the rest of the article slideshow.