Why 'Die Hard' Is The Greatest Movie Of All Time

by Kat George

Die Hard is my favorite ever movie, and I say that completely free of irony. I think it's the best film that was ever made. In my first ever film class at university, we were asked to take turns introducing ourselves and saying what our favorite movie was. I was first, and I had no idea you were supposed to say something to make you look smart, so I proudly announced my name, and that my favorite movie was Die Hard. There was a snigger emitted by one of my new classmates, and a few smug smiles around the room, but my teacher gave me a genuinely warm smile and seemed genuinely pleased by my answer.

As everyone else started saying their favorite movies, mostly films I'd never even heard of with foreign French and German-sounding names, I melted into my chair. I wished I was invisible. Luckily, the teacher gave more condescending "Mmmm-hmmm"s to the people with the more obscure choices, and over the course of semester, made me her favorite. I ended up with the top mark in the class, so I guess there's a lot to be said for "low-brow" taste. It was quite a sweet vindication, and I couldn't help feeling like I was John McClane, emerging bloodied but triumphant at the end, having quashed the European interlopers. Here's why Die Hard is the greatest movie ever made:

1. Bruce Willis

Bruce Willis was Liam Neeson before Liam Neeson even knew who Liam Neeson was.

2. Alan Rickman

Forget anything else you've ever seen Alan Rickman in. He was born to be Hans Gruber.

3. Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman going head to head

The chemistry between action hero and terrorist perhaps the most perfect ever committed to film.

4. The perfect simplicity of the plot

Proof that there doesn't need to be twists and turns, just a building, a down and out, loose cannon cop and some European terrorists. Add machine guns and explosions and you've got a perfect movie.

5. Argyle

I mean, this is a character who basically just chills in the car park of the building the whole time having the most raging party in the back of the limo he drives ON HIS OWN. It's like... "What?" but also, so perfect.

6. The over-sharing friendship between Al and John

My favorite thing about '80s movies is the superficial storylines that digress into one incredibly deep and poignant conversation for seemingly no reason at all. Here it serves to add a layer of depth to the ending that is completely unnecessary but that makes it SO MUCH COOLER.

7. "Now I have a machine gun, ho ho ho!"

The terrorized becomes the terrorist. No matter how many times I see Die Hard, I still fist pump the air at this point. It's even better when Gruber reads it out loud. This is probably the best "OH SHIT, THIS IS HAPPENING!" pivotal moment of any action movie I've ever seen.

8. The intent focus of the story

There's no flashbacks. No clever time-manipulation. No interplay of several stories. Everything focuses on Nakatomi Plaza. So simple, and so glorious.

9. It's the greatest underdog story of our time

Forget everything you thought you knew about underdogs. John McClane took on a building full of heavily armed professional assassin terrorists, while the bumbling police hampered his efforts, AND WON. And he won back his wife and his dignity in the process, all without shoes on.

10. John's badassery

John McClane runs through broken glass with no shoes on. He jumps off an exploding rooftop with nothing but a fire hose tied around his waist. He got this.

11. The action!

Die Hard has some of the best action sequences ever, and they're not the CGI-heavy, perfect kung-fu moves, type of action sequences you're used to now. They're raw, Wild West-style shoot 'em ups with real blood, real pain, and real injuries. No one gets punched and doesn't feel it.

12. Holly Genero/McClane's bravery

Despite what you might think, Die Hard isn't just a boys club. Holly Genero/McClane (Bonnie Bedelia, woop!) is a badass too: smart, courageous and decisive in dealing with Hans Gruber. And instead of doing that shrieky, '80s damsel in distress thing, Holly stoically stands up to him the entire way.

13. It's Joey favorite movie too

14. Because it's infinitely re-watchable

I mean, if you could only watch one movie for the rest of your life, would it be Citizen Kane, or would it be Die Hard? I think we all know the answer. I've seen Die Hard countless times and it NEVER gets old or boring. It's most re-watchable movie ever made.

15. But also because, Hans, bubby!

Images: 20th Century Fox; Giphy (7)