Steven E. DeSouza
Based on the Novel
Nothing Lasts Forever
One of the classic action films of the eighties. This and Lethal Weapon were (are) in a class of their own.
Great opening first two pages. You learn that it's Christmas, John McClane is introduced, he doesn't like flying. He's a cop and the ladies still have a thing for him.
Four main characters have been introduced by the time you reach page four. John McClane, Joseph Takagi, Harry Ellis and Holly Gennaro McClane.
If you have a keen eye, as an audience member you'll notice the nameplate for Holly. Something isn't quite right.
McClane watches other families reunite around hin on page 7, again reinforcing the family problems. The only person meeting him is a chauffeur named Argyle.
Great bit of dialogue when McClane explains to Argyle that he couldn't just leave New York. He takes his job seriously.
The arrival of freight truck on page 16.
The bad guys make their presence on page 20 when they kill the security guard at the desk.
The main bad guy, the antagonist to McClane, Hans Gruber is introduced on page 21.
McClane manages to escape being caught on page 24. A good setup with his lack of footwear as he runs up the stairwell. This will come into play much later.
The bad guys up the ante on page 30 when Hans kills Takage. He's not one to be messed around.
Good turning point on page 38 when Hans and Fritz find the note on Tony's body. They're not alone. This isn't going to go smoothly.
Good piece of dialogue when Karl questions Hans about McClane and plan. Is Hans worried?
And if he alters it?
For once Hans doesn't have an answer.
Things aren't looking so good for the bad guys on page 60 when they realize that the detonators are missing.
Things get really heated when Ellis gets killed on page 85. Thankfully Ellis didn't mention Holly to Hans. Otherwise McClane would be in some deep doodoo.
Hans and McClane finally meet on page 92, Hans pretends to be an escaped hostage, puts on a terrible American accent.
Hans has a good eye for detail when he notices McClane's bare feet on page 95.
McClane isn't slow on the uptake either when he checks the name Hans has given him on the list of names on the wall on page 96. He's not falling for Hans and his bullshit.
On page 98 Hans tells his men to shoot the glass panels knowing McClane doesn't have any footwear on. This was all setup earlier.
Things take a real turn for the worse when Hans discovers who Holly is on page 112.
A nice touch with Holly's dialogue when McClane introduces her to Al on page 126.
I'm serious. Hey, this
is my wife... Holly Gennero.
(taking Powell's hand, correcting)
Still not sure about the ending with Powell killing Karl.
The ending is the opposite of the start.
McClane and his wife were apart, no one came to the airport to meet him.
McClane and Holly now leave together in the limo.
Great script, great movie.
My only gripe would be when his shirt changes color. One minute it's dirty, next minute it's clean, then it's dirty.
Continuity is everything. But that's the movie and the editing, nothing to do with the script.