Genre Grandeur – December Finale – Die Hard (1988) – Fright Rags

For this month’s final review for Genre Grandeur – Alternative Christmas movies here’s a review of Die Hard (1988) by Chris ‘Tank’ Tanski of Fright Rags.

In case you missed any of the reviews, here’s a recap:

  1. Batman Returns (1992) – James
  2. Black Christmas (1974) – David
  3. To Grandmother’s House We Go (1992) – Sally
  4. Diner (1982) – David
  5. Anna and the Apocalypse (2017) – Darren
  6. Rare Exports (2010) – David
  7. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) – James
  8. Babes in Toyland (1961) – Kristen
  9. Gremlins (1984) – Rob
  10. The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales (2017) – David
  11. Die Hard (1988) – Rob
  12. Die Hard (1988) – Tank

In addition, I watched and reviewed 4 movies for my companion series Genre Guesstimation.  Unfortunately, none of them will now be considered among my favorites of the genre.

  1. Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, The (2020)
  2. Long Kiss Goodnight, The (1996)
  3. Bad Mom’s Christmas, A (2017)
  4. Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 (1987)

Thanks again to Chris ‘Tank’ Tanski of Fright Rags for choosing this month’s genre.

Next month’s genre has been chosen by Lisa Leehey of Critical Critics and we will be reviewing our favorite Unreliable Narrator Movies.

Please get me your submissions by the 25th of Jan by sending them to

Try to think out of the box! Great choice Lisa!

Let’s see what Tank thought of this movie:


“Welcome to the party, pal.” – John McClane

Number of Times Seen – I have watched this movie every year since 1988. And every year I watched it at least 2-3 times. I will say I have seen it at least 70 times. 

Brief Synopsis – New York City Detective John McClane, arrives in Los Angeles to spend the Christmas holiday with his estranged wife and kids. But as McClane waits for his wife’s office party to break up, terrorist take control of the building. Armed with only a service revolver and his cunning, McClane launches his own one-man war to save his wife and Christmas.

My Take on it – Every year a debate rages on about whether Die Hard is a Christmas movie. I am in the camp that it is. If a movie gives you those holiday feels then who cares. Then being said I have yet to hear a valid reason to why it is not. I love seeking out alternative Christmas movies that kinda go against the norm of the holiday season.This is not a debate as the whys and why nots. I am here to give my take on this beloved action movie. I have always had an infinity for any action or horror movie set at Christmas. Not sure if it is the dichotomy of the peace on earth mentality vs the disruption of those values with blood and violence. I am not a Grinch I swear. What makes Die Hard so special, that it has been become a annual rewatch at any time of the year.

The premise is so damn brilliant that for the next 10 years every action movie was pitched, Die Hard on a …

Casting wise, Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman (debut performance) were the perfect hero and villain tandem. Though they share little screen time their chemistry shown through. One thing Die Hard succeeds at that other action movies fail is the supporting cast. Everyone chosen to be the perfect ingredient in this recipe. The highlight being Reginald Vel Johnson as Sgt. Al Powell.

The action beats are exciting and continually keep you on the edge of your seat. Being John McClane is not your usual action star you are quite sure if he is going to make it out alive. After the 132-minute run time you are just spent and just need a tall glass of spiked egg nog to calm your nerves. Buckle up and get ready to be blown through the back wall of your home theater! Once completed you will officially become a McClaniac!

Bottom Line – Christmas cannot be celebrated unless I watch this movie. Not only is this one of my favorite films to watch at the holidays but this is widely considered to be one of, if not the greatest action movie of all time. From the performance to the stunt work, Die Hard is top to bottom a triumph of filmmaking. It broke open the everyman action genre and allowed for shlubs like me to think they can one day be the hero of their story.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Before the Disney acquisition, 20th Century Fox had offices in the building used for Nakatomi Plaza. You need the buildings owners permission to use the building in any merchandise.

Rating – Greatest Action Movie of All Time!!! (10 out of 10)

Let me Know what you think!!

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