DIE HARD: One of the greatest action movies of the late 1980s, DIE HARD ushered in a new standard for the genre. With the dissolution of the Cold War, both the stereotypical Russian threat (represented in movies such as TOP GUN and RED DAWN) and the destructive egoist (as seen in OCTOPUSSY) became less fearful. With DIE HARD, director John McTiernan introduced Hollywood to a new type of villain: the terrorist entrepreneur. Alan Rickman stars as Hans Gruber, a relentless businessman whose lethal tactics achieve his goals. Unlike most '80s film villains who committed globally dangerous acts for liberty, genocide, or megalomania, DIE HARD's Gruber uses guns, explosives, and cunning to storm the Takagi Corporation's Christmas party and heist millions of dollars from the company. In addition, DIE HARD also saw the development of the clumsy or bad luck hero with John McClane (Bruce Willis), a man in the wrong place at the wrong time who chooses to intervene. Action fans would see this misfit hero archetype again in UNDER SIEGE (Steven Segal) and THE PHANTOM MENACE (Jar Jar Binks). Although DIE HARD contains many action movie cliches (one-liners, pyrotechnics), it also broke new ground in its genre.
DIE HARD 2: DIE HARDER: In this sequel to the classic action movie, renegade commandos seize a major international airport to rescue a drug lord from justice. Detective John McClane (Bruce Willis), there to meet his wife, must battle incompetent airport security, hard-headed, gung-ho anti-terrorist squads and a deadly winter snowstorm to break the terrorists' grip before his wife's plane runs out of fuel. Based on the novel 58 MINUTES by Walter Wager.
DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE: Superhero cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) returns in DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE. Freshly expelled from the NYPD, McClane encounters a number of threatening phone calls from a terrorist calling himself Simon (Jeremy Irons). Simon tests McClane's wits, and allows him the chance to stop each bomb by solving a riddle. In addition to using his previously learned anti-terrorism tactics (DIE HARD, DIE HARD 2), McClane enlists an angry store clerk, Zeus (Samuel L. Jackson), to decipher Simon's tricky enigmas.