Monday, 29 June 2009

Die Hard

When terrorists seize control of a tower block, an FBI team led by the great pock-marked villain Robert Davi, are brought in to free the hostages.

Davi’s plan involves cutting-off power to the building “then we give them helicopters up the ass.”

Davi and his FBI colleague fly-in, ostensibly to fly the hostages out, but really to shoot the terrorists. Unbeknownst to them, the terrorists have rigged the roof with explosives which are detonated, destroying the buildings upper floors and taking out the helicopter.

Number of exploding helicopters



There‘s a pleasing Vietnam reference when Robert Davi yells: “Just like f---ing Saigon!” as they begin their low level chopper assault.


Robert Davi never gets to deliver “helicopters up the ass” which surely would have been an anatomical first.

Exploding helicopter innovation

First known usage of a tower block to explode a helicopter.

Artistic merit

Disappointing. The helicopter’s explosion is overshadowed by the detonation of the tower block’s roof.

Relevance to plot

Good. There’s no reason to question the presence of helicopters.

Favourite quote

"Hey, I read the papers, I watch 60 minutes, I say to myself, these guys are professionals, they’re motivated, they’re happening. They want something. Now, personally, I don’t care about your politics. Maybe you’re pissed at the camel Jockeys, maybe it’s the Hebes, Northern Ireland, that’s none of my business. I figure, you’re here to negotiate, am I right?"

Interesting fact

The film is based on a book by Roderick Thorpe - a sequel to a previous novel he had written called The Detective. A film of that novel was made in 1968 with Frank Sinatra. 

A clause in Old Blues Eyes contract, meant Sinatra had to be given first refusal on Die Hard - despite the fact he was 73 at the time. 

Review by: Jafo

Still want more? Then check out the Exploding Helicopter podcast episode on Die Hard. Available on Podomatic, iTunes, Stitcher or YourListen

1 comment:

  1. For me the crowning achievment in Robert Davi's career was his role as one of the Frattelli brothers in The Goonies. Oscar winning stuff.

    He was a classically trained opera singer dontchaknow.