With the release of the mediocre Olympus Has Fallen this week, it’s time to take a leaf from the originator of the hostage movie as we know it, Die Hard, with a top ten of “Die Hard” Style hostage films, where it’s up to one man (or two if need be) to take on the terrorists that have taken over some building/transportation etc. You know the score.
Once again, this this is my decision and not influenced by anyone or anything else. I am sure I have missed films out but you can agree or disagree.
10. Executive Decision (1996)
A plane is taken over by terrorists led by Poirot himself, David Suchet, and with Liz Hurley in his gang. Steven Seagal leads a team of commandos to board the plane mid-flight but then simple Intelligence expert Kurt Russell has to save the day. More interesting now to see those more famous in the days before they made it. Die Hard on a commercial plane.
9. Sudden Death (1995)
Jean Claude Van Damme is a former fireman who takes his kids to work at an ice hockey stadium while he checks health and safety, only to become the hero as terrorists led by Powers Booth at over. The second film that JCVD made with Peter Hyams (Timecop being the first) and actually one of his best. At least, his most entertaining. Die Hard in an Ice Hockey Stadium.
8. Under Siege (1992)
Steven Seagal’s most famous film as a chef on a battleship who is also a former Special Forces soldier and is the only man to stop baddies Tommy Lee Jones and Gary Busey, who both lift the film from just another Seagal film. A less successful sequel aboard a train was made. Die Hard on a Battleship.
7. The Rock (1996)
Soldier Ed Harris takes over Alcatraz and threatens San Francisco with germ warfare. It’s up to former prisoner Sean Connery and germ expert Nicolas Cage to get onto The Rock and save the day. A Michael Bay film that actually works. Die Hard on a famous prison.
6. The Negotiator (1998)
Former hostage negotiator Samuel L. Jackson takes a group of hostages after being accused of murder and starts a cat and mouse game with another negotiator Kevin Spacey. Not so much a Die Hard rip-off but has certain elements that tips its hat. Die Hard for actors.
5. Con Air (1997)
Nicolas Cage again, this time as a soldier being released from prison, who happens to be on board a plane full of the worst criminals who take it over. John Malkovich relishes in over acting like crazy in a quoteable action thriller that you just cannot help by like. Die Hard on a prison plane.
4. Air Force One (1997)
Gary Oldman decides to take the Presidential plane over. Would have been fine if it wasn’t for the fact that Harrison Ford is the President and he’s not going to give up his transportation that easily. We all agree that Ford should be President in real life, then there wouldn’t be any World Conflicts. Die Hard on the President’s Plane.
3. The Raid (2012)
Mind-blowingly amazing action thriller set in a tower block that the police decide to raid only to find every floor someone wants to kill them. The fight sequences are incredible and one of the most exciting films of recent years. Die Hard in a Tower Block (Hang on, isn’t that Die Hard?)
2. Speed (1994)
Mad bomber Dennis Hopper is pushing cop Keanu Reeves to the limits as he plants a bomb on a bus that mustn’t go slower than 55 mph. Sandra Bullock made her name as the hapless driver and it is one of the few films in this category that almost equals Die Hard for excitement. Die Hard in a lift, on a bus and on a tube train…greedy!
1. Die Hard (1988)
Did you honestly think there could be any film that could top the list? The greatest action film of all time, that set the benchmark for other action films and made Moonlighting star Bruce Willis into a superstar. The sequels might not have matched up to this but then this is a very hard act to follow. Die Hard…well..Die Hard!