Review Detail

9.8 9 10
FanMix March 16, 2018 6853
(Updated: December 25, 2021)
Overall rating
 
9.8
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
Die Hard happens on Christmas Eve, and if you throw this on at 10:15PM on Christmas Eve, as I did, you'll have a very memorable start to your Christmas at midnight.

Die Hard is one of my favorite action flicks, and I rewatch it at least every few Christmases. I've never thought it needed any changing, but I'll say that the "24" treatment here might actually IMPROVE an already perfect movie.

The original film does get started rather luxiouriously for an action film, just one of many ways this subverted the tropes of the genre when it came out in 1988. Here, the use of split screens to compress time and the way the score is chosen quickly adds a sense of building tension at the beginning of the film. We don't know exactly what we're building TOWARDS, but the setup virtually flies by.

The use of time and location stamps on the film works really well to add a feeling of precision to the movie, which wonderfully highlights Hans Gruber's intricate planning. This isn't just a gimmick edit, it works thematically with the movie.

All the visual and audio edits are made perfectly, and I have to say I didn't mind that the gunshots and explosions were louder than the conversation...because they ARE. It wasn't nearly so wildly imbalanced as all the times I saw this on TV in the '90s. I did note that the video source is pretty soft nowadays though, so a 1080 or HD version would be welcome.

Honestly, I'd probably recommend this as a replacement for the original masterpiece EXCEPT... for a couple time stamps at the end. There are two that play right in the center of the screen over the two biggest dramatic character moments in the film. I could deal with the first one, but the second one really bugged me. What's more important, the facial expression of the main actor, or knowing that this happened at exactly 12:30 PM? I think the stamp really needs to be shifted to be at the bottom of the screen, or don't use it. It becomes intrusive, which had been avoided all film.

Great edit though, I actually would have liked even MORE 24-style editing it worked so well. Some one-by-one split-screen additions to that clock sound when flipping to a new scene would have been great. But this is already a superb way to rewatch the film, if not replace it.

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