During the ’80s golden era of American action movies, there was a certain way these movies looked: burnished steel, gleaming sweat, bulging muscles that couldn’t possibly exist without chemical enhancement. The movies that people like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone were making looked nothing like real life. They looked like a bodybuilder’s fever dream, the sort of thing he might imagine after doing a mountain of blow and watching nothing but early MTV for 48 hours. One fascinating thing about 1988’s Die Hard, quite possibly the best action movie ever made, is that it didn’t look anything like that.

via Die Hard humanized (and perfected) the action movie · A History Of Violence · The A.V. Club