Die Hard ★★★★★
Everyone knows Brits make the best heavies and this is the film – and Alan Rickman the Brit – that established such belief. Bruce Willis is the star: New York cop flies to LA to spend Christmas with possibly estranged wife (Bonnie Bedelia) and discovers on arrival that terrorists, led by Rickman, have taken over the skyscraper where she works and are holding her and others hostage. Willis, muscles rippling under increasingly filthy white vest, does the action man stuff well – evading capture while thwarting and picking off the terrorists – but the acting honours belong to Rickman. He plays a very bad guy, intelligent, suave, cruel, intellectually disdainful of his own associates and actually much more interesting than the Willis character. The business outside the skyscraper, involving local cops and a crass TV reporter, slows the action somewhat, but inside it thrilling stunts and explosive special effects – you wouldn’t believe the damage Willis does to this building — more than compensate. Altogether a highly enjoyable romp.
For more of today’s free-to-air films, see our TV listings
Order your copy of the Radio Times Guide to Films 2017