Die Hard raised the bar for what an action film could be by giving audiences a new level of realism other films were quick to pick up on. Here was our hero getting hurt - not just getting bloody, but getting hurt in a more human way than audiences were used to. He's a regular cop and a regular dad and husband with regular problems-not a "Rambo" type that measures on the scale of a superhuman entity.
But Die Hard didn't stop there. It showed audiences a manly, regular guy that could also be sensitive. In one scene, John McClain (played by Bruce Willis) picks glass out of his feet (a manly moment), while telling his new friend over the radio about how much he loves his wife and how badly he screwed things up in their relationship. Aw, how sensitive! In that scene, Die Hard demonstrates that masculinity does not have to exclude emotion and sensitivity.
Die Hard 2 also pushed the envelope in deconstructing the traditional male stereotype. In one of the first scenes of the film, John McClain enters the airport and takes one quick glance around before asking for information.
"Where are the telephones?" he says.
If the hero of the Die Hard series can ask for directions, then it should be okay for other men to do so without their masculine nature feeling threatened.