Masculinity In Die Hard

1352 Words6 Pages
Released during the peak of 1980s action cinema in the United States, Die Hard stands not only as a thrilling film but also an important cultural object. At first glance, this 1988 blockbuster is nothing short of violent, bloody, and exciting, but deeper observation reveals a variety of political, social and economic values that characterized the Reagan era entrenched within the film. The film also showcases Hollywood’s popular representation of masculinity during this time, specifically through protagonist John McClane’s “hard body”: an idealized muscular and physically and mentally superior individual that had become an emblem of the nation. As seen through McClane’s physique, actions and interactions, Die Hard is the embodiment of the nationalistic, racial, cultural, social, and moral ideologies of Reagan’s 1980s America.

The film follows the endeavours of New York City cop John McClane as he attempts to thwart a terrorist takeover of a prominent Japanese corporation and save a group of hostages of which his wife is among. Played by Bruce Willis, McClane came to Los Angeles with intention to visit his wife and attend a company Christmas party, but he is quickly forced to take matters into his
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Die Hard is a reflection of so in the sense that it is a militaristic fantasy of an outgunned America fighting against a seasoned foreign enemy that threatens to destroy national values. Action films of the eighties often worked out domestic policy through a plot of home-front battles with internal enemies of the nation: terrorism, lawlessness, disloyalty and deterioration of the family unit. In the film, McClane is fighting foreign robber-terrorists on American soil. Although he doesn’t have an array of military equipment at his disposal as an action hero often does, McClane single-handedly takes on and defeats this invading group, saving not only his wife but also ultimately the
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