The Front Row View is a regular column by Great Stories contributor Jim Cannizzaro. He is a veteran community theater leading man, seasoned blogger, movie enthusiast, and family man.
Just about every cop thriller made today can trace it’s lineage back to John McTiernan’s 1988 testosterone-laden Die Hard. It’s got it all. Bruce Willis perfected his wise-guy/macho wind-up hero persona after a couple of failed attempts (his reported salary at the time was $5 million, an unheard of amount for someone who had yet to score a hit movie). There’s the roly-poly good guy cop that exchanges buddy banter with Willis as he’s trying to foil the terrorists that have seized the headquarters of the Nakatomi Corporation (actually the Fox Plaza in Century City, CA) to make off with—what? There’s the high-toned special effects (by Richard Edlund of Star Wars) that turns the Nakatomi tower into an explosives playground. And, best of all, there’s the suave mastermind leading the terrorists. Die Hard was the movie that introduced U.S. audiences to the awesomeness of Alan Rickman. The sequels have all tried, but none of the subsequent villains have the deliciously sinister appeal of Rickman’s slithery line readings and strong screen presence. Guys like different things. Many like sports. Many like cars. Many like sports and cars. Uh…some like movies. Just about every guy can bond over their enjoyment of Die Hard. Yippee Ki Yay!