Die Hard

Nothing Lasts Forever: The Birth of Die Hard

If you’re like me, you’ve wondered for years how much Bruce Willis’s DIE HARD (1988) owes to the book it was based on, NOTHING LASTS FOREVER by Roderick Thorp. And then you bought the book on e-bay but didn’t get around to reading it for a while because of an addiction to Richard Stark novels. But now you finally read the whole thing, rewatched DIE HARD and are ready to share with the world a comparison of the movie to the novel. Me and you, we’re in this together, like Bruce and Sam in part 3. We’re gonna do this.

The “ultimate Die Hard dvd” has little mention of the original novel, other than director John McTiernan admitting he never read it. And a quick internet search (a research technique I expect to see in DIE HARD 4.0 if they ever really make it) brings up no detailed comparisons between the movie and the bool. But I’m sure there must be one out there somewhere. Fortunately, I am a fuckin pro at this shit. I done this for myself with MILLION DOLLAR BABY, POINT BLANK/PAYBACK, THE OUTFIT, two Seagal movies, and others. Also I have a commitment to excellence. So I guarantee this will be the #1 DIE HARD/NOTHING LASTS FOREVER comparison on the internet.

ENTER JOE LELAND

The book is about Joe Leland, not John McClane, a retired (not vacationing) cop going to visit his daughter (not wife) in L.A. at Christmas time. In the movie he’s estranged from his wife, in the book he was divorced from his wife and she later died. His daughter used to be married to a chump he didn’t like and has taken his name, Generro (in the movie that’s his wife’s maiden name that she uses at work).

Like in the movie, Leland is on the outskirts of an office party with his shoes off (washing his feet though, because he was told it keeps you from being tired at the end of a day) when he hears gun shots, because terrorists have taken the office hostage. He spends the rest of the book as a fly in the terrorist’s ointment, picking them off one by one, blowing shit up, communicating with them and police on the outside using a CB. Like in the movie, the terrorists are German, and sometimes talk in German so he won’t understand. One major difference is that the book always follows Leland, it doesn’t cut away for scenes on other floors of the building. So unless he’s spying on them, we don’t know what the terrorists are up to.

And of course there are some different subplots (a budding relationship with a stewardess he met on the plane, a survivalist type named Taco Bill who talks to him over the CB) and many of the details are changed, but the basic structure is pretty much the same. What really surprised me is most of the memorable action scenes in the movie are taken from the book:

  • hanging into the elevator shaft by his gun strap
  • throwing a dead terrorist out the window to attract cops (doesn’t hit the car, though)
  • putting a dead terrorist in the elevator with “NOW WE HAVE A MACHINE GUN” written on his sweatshirt (the movie changed it to “I” and had the welcome addition of “HO HO HO”)
  • dropping a C4 bomb strapped to a chair down the shaft and blowing out all the windows
  • rapelling down the side of the building strapped to a firehose and shooting out a window to get back inside
  • taping a gun to his back for the final showdown.

THE SAME, BUT DIFFERENT

Most of the characters in the movie are from the book, give or take: trusty Al Powell, bureaucratic Dwayne T. Robinson, blonde beast Karl and his dead brother. Even the treacherous yuppie cokehead Ellis comes from the book. In the movie there’s a vague hint that Hollie could be having an affair with this guy, or at least that McClane’s jealous mind could be worried about that. But in the book it’s his daughter’s co-worker, so it’s more of a fatherly “I can’t believe my daughter is fucking this asshole” kind of pain.

In the book the heavy isn’t called Hans Grueber, he’s Anton “Red Tony” Grueber, a terrorist who enjoys sitting people down and shooting them in the lapel. Also, the ages of most of the characters have been switched around at random for the movie. In the book, Leland/McClane is much older and retired. And he’s going to visit his daughter, not his wife, so she’s younger. Al Powell is 22. The limo driver, who isn’t named Argyle and who is never seen again after he drops him off, is older.

In the movie, McClane gets dirty from climbing through vents and elevator shafts. In the book he becomes completely stained, covered in black filth, which helps him to hide in the shadows. He thinks it makes him look more fearsome, but then when he sees himself on TV he worries that it just makes him look pathetic.

AND FRANK SINATRA AS JOHN MCCLANE

After enjoying 17 years of DIE HARD’s bastard sons and inbred cousins, I notice one cliche refreshingly missing from the original. There’s a point in the movie where the media identifies the terrorist leader as “this man, Hans Grueber,” and another point where Grueber learns that his foe is “Mr. officer John McClane of the New York City Police Department.” In almost all DIE HARD type movies, this is now used for the two Just How Badass Is This Guy? scenes, one for the hero and one for the villain.

What they would do is have a bunch of military or intelligence guys standing around in a room with a bunch of computers and a big screen, looking at security camera photos of Hans Grueber. And they list the different terrorist groups he’s been connected with, the bombings and assassinations he was involved in, and that he’s an expert in marskmanship, explosives, improvised weaponry, etc. And how he’s unpredictable and all that crap. Then there would be a scene for John McClane where Grueber uses a computer to find McClane’s secret files and it lists off what a badass he is, he has this medal and this medal, he is trained in this and this and this, he was in Bosnia and Mogadishu, he can tear a phone book in half, etc. Or they would say this guy’s file is empty, he has no history. It’s like he doesn’t exist. This guy has black ops written all over him.

Well DIE HARD doesn’t have either one of those scenes, there is only a little bit of backstory. For McClane, the bit of backstory you get is not about his achievements as a cop, just that his wife moved away for a career opportunity. Same thing with Grueber – we just know that the terrorist group he used to be in doesn’t want to be associated with him anymore. Creative differences or something.

But NOTHING LASTS FOREVER is a book, so you end up having alot more backstory. In fact, the book is a sequel to an earlier Roderick novel, THE DETECTIVE, where Leland is a P.I. investigating a weird sex crime. In NOTHING LASTS FOREVER we get a summary of that case, and how he got the wrong man executed, his marriage was ruined, his wife left him and eventually died, he was an alcoholic for a while, his daughter wouldn’t speak to him, life is shit, etc. Also we learn a little bit about Leland being a pilot during the war, and a cop, and a world renowned security expert, which helps him out with this whole terrorists-in-a-building scenario.

THE DETECTIVE was even made into a movie starring Frank Sinatra. So in a way, you can consider that movie to be a prequel to DIE HARD. But only if you can accept that Frank Sinatra as Joe Leland becomes Bruce Willis as John McClane. Which might be kind of hard. But you should try though.

(According to this article, NOTHING LASTS FOREVER was actually made after the Detective movie so they’d have a basis for a movie sequel, like THE LOST WORLD: JURASSIC PARK or BE COOL. But Sinatra turned down the movie. 15 years later, when Joel Silver decided to make it, he first offered the role to Sinatra and Robert Mitchum. Apparently it was only after they turned it down that it was decided to make it a younger character visitiing his wife).

THE JOY OF DIE HARD

On McTeirnan’s DVD commentary track he says that his main objective was to find a “joyful” way to do a movie about terrorists. It’s kind of a weird thing to say on such a dry and humorless commentary track, but it’s a fair point. He says that if the bad guy is a terrorist killing people for some political cause you just have to hate them. But if they’re just trying to get money you can have more fun watching it and admire the cleverness of their scheme. Which may be true, I don’t know.

At any rate, this decision is the one that makes the biggest change to the meaning of the book. In the movie Hans Grueber and his gang are pretending to be terrorists fighting for some vague political cause, but actually that’s a cover to help them in a robbery. In the book though they really are fighting for a political cause, and it seems possible that if Leland hadn’t become involved they could have done it without killing anyone. They say that Klaxon Oil was involved in a shady deal with the ruling junta in Chile, propping them up and taking money away from the impoverished citizens. Leland not only believes their claims, but believes his daughter was willingly involved in this corruption. But she’s still his daughter, and they’re still holding guns on her.

The terrorists plan to make public documents proving that the deal took place, then they plan to dump $600,000 in cash (part of the deal) out the windows.

(Klaxon Oil is changed to the Nakatomi Corporation in the movie, to reflect ’80s concerns about Japanese companies buying out American ones. Ironically, if they’d left it how it was in the book it would be more up to date, less dated than it is in the movie.)

But remember, the movie added joy to the book. So the book ends up much darker. When Grueber falls out the window, he hooks a finger onto Leland’s daughter’s bracelet (in the movie it’s a Rolex given as a reward for her work). But in the book, he pulls her down. Even though he’s already dead, he kills Leland’s daughter.

So Leland continues his rampage, seeks out the other terrorists in the building and kills them. And it’s not pleasant. Some of the terrorists are women, and at first this bothers him, then he starts to get used to it. The last one is described as “a little girl, plump, with rosy cheeks and green eyes.” When he pulls a gun on her, Thorp writes:

“She started to scream. Leland could see that she had never lived, that she knew she was dying without ever having experienced most of the natural course of life. Leland thought of his dead daughter Steffie and shot this bitch in the forehead above the bridge of her nose.”

At the end of the movie, there are a couple shots where the bonds and documents from the company safe blow out the windows and fall to the ground like snow. Not important at all, just a little detail. In the book, part of the terrorist plan is to throw the company’s money out the windows to the people below. Leland stops them, but since he blames the company for his daughter’s death, he himself throws all the money out the window.

And remember that scene at the end, where it seems like it’s all over, then Karl (last seen hanging from a chain like a slab of beef) stumbles out of the building like a crazed zombie and opens fire on McClane and everybody else, only to be gunned down by Al Powell? Same thing happens in the book, except Karl first hits Dwayne T. Robinson, killing him. And Powell jokes and/or hints that Leland ducked behind Robinson on purpose. As Leland is carried away, wounded, he drifts away and thinks about flying – an ambiguous ending that could mean he’s relaxing and enjoying the fact that it’s all over, or could mean that he’s dead. (There is no NOTHING LASTS FOREVER 2: NOTHING LASTS FOREVERER, after all.)

THE JOY OF BRUCE

Another part of making the movie “more joyful” was in the casting of Bruce Willis. Not that Joe Leland is humorless, but John McClane is alot more of a wiseass. Most of the smartass remarks, discussion of cowboy movies, etc. was not from the book. Some of those lines are a little corny now, 17 years later, but most of it works as the kind of black humor people really use in grim situations. And he doesn’t follow the standard kill-a-guy/make-a-pun formula of other action movies. It’s more spontaneous. I like that Bruce, while going through impossible physical punishments, is not a stone-faced super-killer. He’s scared shitless. He’s running around yelling “JESUS CHRIST!” and “FUCK ME!” every time things get bad (which is always). He may be a bad motherfucker but he doesn’t hide the fact that he’s jumping rope on thin ice.

In fact, Bruce has one line about Rambo and another one about Schwarzengger, as if to say, “this guy is not Stallone or Schwarzenegger. He’s more like us and also speaks clear English.” They’re purposely trying to position him as the alternative to those two popular-at-the-time meatheads.

Another major theme they dumped from the book actually wasn’t so dark. In the book, Leland is trying to prove that one man really can make a difference. If this old fuck can singlehandedly stop a terrorist attack, then you don’t have an excuse anymore. You CAN make the world a better place! Do it for Joe Leland!

In the movie, one man really can make a difference sort of becomes this one man sure is a bad motherfucker. Which I can’t really complain about. And I don’t know if I agree with it, but I guess you could argue that Bruce Willis being a normal guy with a receding hairline, not some lantern jawed Adonis shipped in from Europe, sort of gets the message across anyway. One Bruce Willis really can make a difference.

TAKE OUT THE GREY AREAS, ADD MORE FUN AND A HAPPY ENDING

McTiernan’s joy-ification of the book is a little offensive from one point of view. I’m not one of those dudes that thinks anything dark is AUTOMATICALLY better than a happy ending. Like, if Pinocchio was used as a firelog or carved into a canoe at the end, I don’t think that would improve the movie just because it’s dark. I do think the end credits of SEABISCUIT should be a classroom of kids pasting their art projects together, but that’s an isolated case. Anyway, dark does not always mean better, but Roderick Thorp’s book already exists as a grim story with purposely ambiguous morality. You definitely side with Leland, but there’s a part of you that wonders about some of the things he does. And, like in many DIE HARD rip-offs, but not DIE HARD itself, the bad guys actually have a noble cause that even Leland agrees with. It’s just their methods that are fucked. So there’s more grey area there.

So it’s kind of what you expect from those Hollywood fucks, to take out the grey area, add more “fun” and a happy ending. Turn it into something it’s not. On the other hand, it’s not like they turned it into a goofy comedy. McTiernan doesn’t seem to know it, but it’s still a pretty brutal movie. The guy is running around barefoot on broken glass, covered in blood. That scene where he swings shirtless and barefoot through a broken window, then gets dragged across the floor… and what about that fight with Karl, he’s pounding on him and grunting like an animal, says “Motherfucker! I’m gonna kill you! Then I’m gonna fuck’n cook ya! Then I’m gonna fuck’n eat ya!” and then he wraps a chain around his neck and tosses him off the stairs… I mean, shit. This is not the watered down PG-13 action movie bullshit we got today.

Come to think of it, I’m not a big fan of the ’80s at all. But that’s one thing I will say for the ’80s – the days when Verhoeven was a mainstream filmatist. The movies may have been corny, the music may have been horrendous, the president may have been Ronald Reagan. But at least they didn’t water down the action movies. Good job with that one, ’80s.

McTiernan also talks on the commentary track about how he used A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM as a guide for the plot, and had them rewrite the script so it took place all in one day, because A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM takes place in one day. But, you know. At least he made DIE HARD.

The movie has a couple weird nods to important plot points that have been dropped from the book. In the book, Leland flirts with a flight attendant named Kathi, gets her phone number, later calls her and even gets to talk to her on the CB while he’s in the building, thanks to the media. None of this happens in the movie, but there’s a little part at the beginning where a flight attendant looks McClane up and down like hubba hubba as he’s getting off the plane.

WHAT DOESN’T LAST FOREVER?

Another weird connection between the book and the movie – they both got titles that make no sense. For seventeen years I’ve wondered why the fuck it’s called DIE HARD. I mean sure, he’s a bad motherfucker, he’s hard to kill, etc. But usually a movie title should have something to do with the content, right? Like in OUT FOR JUSTICE, Seagal is out for justice, right? ‘Cause they killed his partner. In HARD TO KILL, they really do have a hard time killing him, ’cause he wakes up from that coma and comes back for them. In UNBREAKABLE, the plot is all about how Bruce is unbreakable. It’s important.

So I always figured DIE HARD had something to do with that old saying, “old habits die hard.” But what is the old habit then? He’s not a retired cop, he’s just out of his jurisdiction, so being a cop isn’t really an old habit. Getting back together with his wife maybe. He’s been away from her and things aren’t going too well with the relationship, but then he loves her and wants to save her life. But I don’t know man, calling that an old habit kind of diminishes the love story too, like he’s just saving her because he’s used to it. So I don’t know about that interpretation either.

All you can really figure, it’s called DIE HARD because it sounds cool.

NOTHING LASTS FOREVER I don’t get either. What is it referring to that doesn’t last forever? The takeover of the building? Leland’s life? His daughter’s life? Peace on American soil? The Klaxon Oil Company being unaccountable for their criminal ways? I don’t know man, it’s kind of vague. None of those really fit very well. I don’t get it. So like with DIE HARD, that leaves you with one option: it sounds cool.

Only that can’t be it, because NOTHING LASTS FOREVER doesn’t sound cool. So you got me on this one. I got no idea.

CONCLUSION

Everybody knows what an influence DIE HARD has been on the action movies of the past decade point seven. But what’s surprising is how much of that comes straight from my man Roderick’s book. That’s why Roderick Thorp is truly The Father of Die Hard. I recommend the book to all fans of DIE HARD and DIE HARD type movies. It’s interesting to see where it all came from, and it’s a good read anyway.

[ratings]

 

Bruce Willis in Die Hard: an action breakthrough

[Below is one of the first pieces I Wrote for this web sight, when I was first discovering the world of the Cinema, etc. I am leaving it here for historical puproses however don't read the fuckin thing though. Thanks.]

film essay by Vernon H.

This page is to promote one of the most under recognized movies in my opinion, Bruce Willis’s DIE HARD (1988). In this movie, Bruce willis plays a cop who finds out that TERRORISTS have taken over the building of his wife’s work at christmas time. What bruce does is basically pick off the terrorists one by one, killing them, etc. These are germans with a leader named Hans Grueber. It shows that one man can take on the system BY HIMSELF. This is a big inspiration to convicts, underdogs and anyone who ever had to take on incredible odds. Also it is interesting to note that Bruce is wearing NO SHOES OR SOCKS while he takes on these Terrorists, including when he must walk over broken glass. That’s right – BARE FEET.

Now I know what your saying, Bruce willis in an action movie? But hold on just a second there bud.

Although bruce is known mainly for being a comedian on the tv show Moonlighting, I think there is a little more to bruce that a lot of people haven’t been willing to acknowledge. First of all, moonlighting although there is romance in comedy can also be an action show. For example in the pilot (term for first episode) I believe there was a scene of bruce running all over the city chasing a dude (although with shoes on).

Now i know there is a prejudice against tv actors trying to make it on the big screen, just as there is a prejudice against ex-cons trying to go clean in the real world. HOWEVER, i don’t think it’s fair to consider Bruce to be ONLY a tv actor, although yes he has done Moonlighting.

And in fact his background in comedy helps out for the “one liners,” where bruce says a funny or clever thing as the Terrorist dies. “Yippy kie yah motherfucker!” Although i like van damme quite a bit I believe bruce is actually better at this sort of technique.

Although Die Hard has had little hype or press, i believe that it’s time will come soon when it will be acknowledged as a breakthrough in the world of action movies. They don’t really make movies like that anymore in my opinion. Although its influence is yet to be shown, I think within ten years all action movies will owe a great debt to Die Hard, just as horror movies owe a debt to the Chucky movies.

In the movie, Bruce Willis is named “John Mcclane”

Just my two cents

 

Die Hard

MERRY CHRISTMAS, MOTHERFUCKER: MY REUNION WITH BRUCE WILLIS’S DIE HARD

All across the world, in many different nations and cultures, families and individuals have many cherished traditions that they follow every winter holiday season. For some its the eggnog or candy canes, a special angel ornament they pass on through the family to put on top of the christmas tree, or everyone opens one present on christmas eve or who knows, ANYTHING.

Well in my opinion if I had been able to celebrate the holiday outside of the limits of the correctional facilities in recent years i’m PRETTY fucking sure my first tradition would be to read “junkies christmas” from william s. burroughs Interzone. This is the story of a fucking low life like many I know however he is able to learn the spirit of christmas and help others who need his knowledge and posession of certain illegal medicines. if its not already this should be on tv every year like the charlie brown cartoons.

Of course my second and more important tradition would be to watch my all time favorite christmas movie – the one starring Bruce Willis as Mr. John McClane. Bruce singlehandedly takes down a moneygrubbing so called terrorist operation that takes over his estranged wife’s office building on Christmas eve. Although with a strong action movie feel and taking place indoors instead of the snowy wilderness, this picture is fucking PENETRATED with the sounds of christmas, from the run dmc rap tune to i believe handels messiah.

That movie is the one and only Bruce Willis’s Die hard (1988).

So this year as the holiday season approaches I was able to rewatch Die fucking Hard as some of my buds in the guestbook call it for the first full viewing since the late 80s.

Die HardThere are some items in life that only grow or blossom while others fade away or die. A man’s passion for a great film such as bruce willis’s die hard can only grow, even while his world view begins to mature. That is why a motherfucker such as myself can take a look and see how die hard no longer reflects his (my) values on the cusp of the millenium 2000, without losing ONE SINGLE ounce of respect for Mr. Bruce Willis, even outside of the tv comedies which he is most known for.

The filmmaking techniquery of the die hard film is established immediately with the scenic photographing of the landing plane, where bruce is told to take off his shoe, reveals his holstered gun and says “don’t worry, I’m a cop.”

Now I’m no fan of cops however i must admit it is good to mention from the get go this dude is carrying a gun which will later be used in the movie, and also will not be wearing shoes.

Bruce is a conflicted type hero very much of the ’80s movie heritage of which he is most definitely a part. Coming to LA to spend christmas with his wife and kid, it is revealed he lives in a different city than his wife and right away gets in an argument with her, knowing all along that he is fucking things up. Before he can even say I’M SORRY three times fast the gal is held hostage by a group of germans who take over the building and plan to steal all the money. Bruce sneaks off with his little cop pistol and the rest of the film tells the story of how one man can kill all of the terrorists by himself using makeshift weapons and detective work – all so he can make up with his wife.

Now especially at christmas time a motherfucker that watches this movie may very well believe it is meant as a jesus type story. The part of Jesus is played of course by Bruce, who sacrifices himself to save the other people in the building. The disciples include the cop Bruce talks to over the walky talky, who follows his teachings even while the commanding officers and fbi don’t believe in Bruce and even hope to get him out of the way. I don’t know maybe the other 11 are the guys he mentions from his squad who are taking bets on Bruce. Also judas is played by the smarmy fucking yuppy cokehead who pretends to be bruce’s friend but turns him in to the evil king Hans Grueber.

This yuppy type character by the way was a popular character in the films of the era such as robotcop. They always wear suits, snort coke, and are more aware of being an asshole than the real guys like this. These fucks are always getting involved in some white collar crime and every once in a while if they happen to end up in maximum security they like take out janey.

“Mickey Deadly? You ordered a janey?”

“Yes thank you.”

So back to the jesus. Bruce is crucified when he walks barefoot across the glass. This is when he dies as far as on a symbolic level. at first he seems to have retired to his fate and tells the walky talky cop to apologize to his wife for him. however he changes his mind and comes back to life (again i must point out this is in a metaphorical way) to ascend to the heaven of the upper floor of the building.

When Bruce finally sees his wife again it is a dramatic type lighting as he steps out with his arms raised like on a cross. This is a very christlike portrayal and so what do you think his wife says? That’s right, she says “Jesus!”

Now okay okay, i admit this is a very good argument. BUT i believe that more than that this is a film about RELATIONSHIPS. Bruce climbs an elevator shaft, shoots some guys, wrestles a guy grunting “motherfucker motherfucker”, hangs a dude from the neck by a chain, jumps out the window from an explosion using a fire hose as a bungee cord, kicks through a window with barefeet, blows up the bottom of the building, and of course walks over the glass with barefeet – all so that he gets the chance to apologize to his wife in person.

perhaps this is the type of dedication we all should have to our relationships excluding young gals you pick up, one night stand etc.

The other relationship in this work is the friendship between Bruce and the cop who he first “meets cute” by throwing a dead body on the front of his car and firing machine guns at him. However these two characters never meet face to face until the end of this film, but they develop a bond over the walky talky to discuss the terrorist action, the interference of the fucking feds and their family and career history. I can’t help but reminded of the many of you out there who Write to me in e-mail or in the newsgroups but i don’t know WHO the fuck you are in person. What i’m telling you man is this part of the story plot foresaw the modern age of the internet which in my opinion was not nearly as widespread at that time at least in my experience.

And that brings me to MY relationship with die hard, and how it changed and evolved over the period in which we were separated by a steel fucking cage both literally and mentally. During this period is when i started to get my fucking shit together and go clean, Positive etc. as those of you who read this sight are aware. Well that is why when i come back to die hard I find that in some ways we have grown apart.

I speak in specificness of a part of the story plot about the walky talky cop. Bruce gives the cop some shit about being a desk cop who never fires a gun because when he was a rookie cop he mistook a kid with a toy ray gun for a motherfucker with a real ray gun, and shot the motherfucker. Well at the end of the movie when Bruce and the wife have escaped and everything seems to be over suddenly this blond german comes out ready to kill everybody and the cop lifts up his gun with no trace of fear and blows the motherfucker away. And i’m pretty fucking sure the audience is supposed to get up and cheer and think this dude has redeemed himself.

Now there are two reasons why i wonder if this is really right. Number one. Positivity. In this day if you are a Positive individual such as myself one of the most Negative things to do is to shoot a motherfucker or otherwise kill a motherfucker in some way or method. In my opinion. So although it may be pretty badass and justified to blow this motherfucker away it is only proper to pretend like you didn’t enjoy it. Although i think this sadistic revenge fantasy is a more popularly accepted form of entertainment in 1988 a more naive time before the more socially conscious action films like steven seagal’s on deadly ground, where Mr. Seagal only beats a motherfuckers ass to teach him about the consequences of violence and at the end blows up an oil refinery and makes a speech about the environment.

Secondly. I hate a motherfucking cop. Those of you in seattle during this WTO thing know what i’m talking about. These are not a motherfucker you want to encourage when it comes to the topic of shooting people. Even if this dude did a good job such as in this case you keep a real sober face and don’t look him in the eye. I mean come on if you pat the motherfucker on the back for this he’ll try to shoot somebody every chance he gets. This is the major disagreement i have with die hard.

HOWEVER since this is a film about relationships it teaches me that i can have my disagreements, but i just gotta work them out. We still have a VERY strong bond because we hate this motherfucker hans grueber. This is a dude who SAYS he’s a terrorist but when it comes down to it, he doesn’t even believe in his cause, he just uses it as an excuse to get the scratch. and this is exactly the theme i have been talking about on this sight, these motherfuckers who have no heart, no passion, and they think profit is more important than human rights, nature, or even the artform of the Cinema for fuck’s sake. these motherfuckers are insane and i don’t mind bruce throwing them out a metaphorical window.

Bruce and his wife sure have their differences, such as living in different cities, but they two have a bond because they share that they both are in a building taken over by poser terrorists. ultimately they overcome great odds to come together and it is PRETTY fucking clear in my opinion that due to this dedication these two have a looooooong fucking relationship ahead of them and they will be able to work things out. just as i was able to do with this film.

Keep reading this sight in the coming weeks before christmas as i Write about the other sequels in the die hard trilogy.

–Vern

 

Die Hard 2

MCCLANE. JOHN MCCLANE. THE WORKING MAN’S JAMES BOND

BRUCE WILLIS’S DIE HARD 2

Well hell man I guess for those of you who read the title there’s no point in explaining my premise here. You see I just watched Die Hard part 2 for the first time since you know what and I realized that John McClane is a James bond for OUR people. The people who AREN’T rich and who don’t always get the breaks this motherfucker james gets.

Bond is the ultimate secret agent, who the government agencies go to for help. McClane is just a badass that happens to be there when the shit goes down, and the government agencies try to STOP him from helping but they can’t do it cause like the title says this mother fucker is HARD.

Bond has connections everywhere and can go anywhere and do just about anything he wants, but McClane has to save the whole fucking airport just to get these motherfuckers to let him out of a parking ticket. Bond drives snowmobiles and sports cars provided by the government and jumps off of them and blows them up. McClane steals the snowmobiles he uses but also jumps off of them and blows them up. Even when he drives a car at the beginning, its a piece of shit borrowed from his mother in law, and that one gets impounded.

Bond wears expensive suits and dapper uniforms. McClane wears a dirty maintenance man snow jacket he BORROWS from somebody else. If McClane was EVER in a casino, he’d be wearing a sleeveless undershirt, it would be on the Indian reservation, and he’d be losing. My man john doesn’t know the MEANING of the word dapper. He’s a rough and tumble type dude, and if I didn’t know he was a cop i’d swear he done time, cause this is the type of motherfucker that knows how to bite a guys hand during a fight. thumbs up for that one mcclane.

Die Hard 2Bond has a team of experts at his disposal, but McClane just has the fax number for Reginald VelJohnson who can run fingerprints for him. Bond has this Q dude who lives in a secret lab, makes fancy gadgets for him and helps him out. McClane has a crazy janitor named Marvin who lives in a basement and finds the bad guy’s gadgets laying around and tries to sell them to McClane. Bond has the greatest possible technology at his disposal, McClane has to make a torch or tie a fire hose around his waist if he wants to get fancy.

While Bond travels the world in search of intrigue, McClane just sticks to one limited location and the shit comes right to him. Bond is on a fancy ass mission trying to stop a bad guy but shit man McClane just wants his fucking wife off the plane so he can go home. Women fall for both Bond and McClane but McClane is just trying to save his wife so he shows them his wedding band. He doesn’t have time for off screen sex with exotic named gals.

McClane also has the vernacular, the language of the people. Bond is all elegant with the british type shit but McClane swears like an american. Bond performs these fantastic, death defying type stunts but keeps cool and says funny oneliners in that accent of his. McClane does basically the same thing but instead of keeping cool he yells “OH SHHIIIIIIITTTTT” or “MOTHERFUCKER!!!” Bond says “Bond, James Bond” and “shaken, not stirred.” McClane says, “Yippee kay yay, motherfucker!”

In short, fuck james bond. John McClane is the type of hero we can admire. to be frankly honest james bond is a fucking baby he needs all that shit to stop the bad guys. Give me a fucking break rich boy.

Now die hard part 2 is a pretty good movie in my opinion. At first it seems to be coasting on Bruce Willis alone. The story begins with bruce getting his mother in laws car impounded by the pigs. Even though he himself is a pig with the badge to prove it they won’t give him a break. This shows right off the importance of bad luck. Bruce is having a bad day already and just wait till the mercenaries take over the airport.

there is also a theme of coincidence. by coincidence, bruce bumps into the man who will later be revealed the leader of the merc terrorists. This fits because its also a fucking big coincidence that bruce would just HAPPEN to be coming to see his wife ON CHRISTMAS during a terrorist attack, just like in part 1. And bruce himself points this out, “How can the same shit happen to the same guy twice?”

In this part of the movie Bruce is at his best acting in my opinion. he acts without words, watching suspiciously in the crowded airport as some military bastards are passing around suspicious packages. You see the curiosity in his eyes as he struts around, sucking a cancer stick, using his badge to get into the luggage department to follow these guys and see whats what.

The high stress level of the airport is something you can really feel floating off the tv screen. When the mercs take over the tower and make it impossible for the planes to land, there is a scene where the board full of ON TIMEs switches to DELAYED, DELAYED, DELAYED all the way across and you hear panic and anger spread across the crowd.

In a way this movie also has a little more of the christmas spirit than the first one. John and Holly are back together now living in the same city but they are visiting hollys parents and came into town at different times. so now instead of marital type strife we just have these two wanting to celebrate the holidays together as soon as they get these merc motherfuckers out of the way.

Through the whole movie it is snowing and i think you will agree that special twinkle of the winter snow is pretty fuckin christmasy if you think about it.

One problem, i think they tried to force bruces humor a little bit. There is a couple scenes where i think they just dubbed the joke on later. like when the parachute falls over him and right away he goes, “where the fuck is the door?” It doesn’t really work. sorry bruce, no offense. Theres also this tom and jerry type shenanigans on the plane where holly happens to be on the same plane as that prick reporter from part 1, and she makes fun of him and then shocks him with a stun gun while he’s reporting live. kinda stupid although i remember it was funny at the time.

Also, the south american drug lord character is pretty fucking fake. At one point i think he calls bruce a bandejo. I’m surprised he didn’t say ay carumba this John McClane is loco. This time the bad guys aren’t krauts, their american soldiers and i like that. the movie acts like the “drug war” of the time was totally on the level, but this fits the movie because what the fuck does a working class james bond like john mcclane know about what goes on in the governmental cia type shit. he just wants his fucking wife back, man.nTh I

One other thing about this movie and how it further proves bruce willis is one of the top action stars out there. You want proof Bruce is tougher than that kraut Schwarzenegger? Well go no further than the scene early on where bruce takes on robert terminator 1000 patrick, playing a painter that goes crazy from the fumes or whatever and decides to kill bruce. It took Arnold the whole 2 hours of terminator part 2 to wipe out this little prick. Bruce dusts him off in about 20 seconds and the dude doesn’t even morph or anything. I believe these were filmed around the same time so i’m sure robert patrick was at a similar level of physical and mental training during both fights. the answer is clear bruce could bite arnold’s fucking throat out with his bare hands.

Die hard part 2 is a good followup to die hard part 1. It takes basically the same type of shit but puts it on a “larger canvas” you might say, establishing bruce as james bond for men. sure it is flawed but it is one of the better action sequels and in my opinion like part 1 it will some day be a large influence on the action movie genre.

thanks.

–Vern

 

Die Hard: With a Vengeance

DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE

My first time

Well I have found that a lot of my readers have also come to love the films of the Bruce Willis Die Hard series. But I wonder how many of you are in the same situation as me. Die Hard comes out in 1988, you love it. Die Hard 2 comes out a couple years later, pretty fucking good. Die Hard part 3 comes out but wait a minute, you are incapacitated and/or incarcerated at the time and are not able to ever get around to seeing the thing until letterbox video in the year 2000.

So yes, this is my first time for Die Hard With a Vengeance which is what they call part 3 for whatever reason, not sure about that one get back to me on that one later.

The other Die Hards took place in a limited setting – part 1, they take over a building. Part 2, they took over an airport. Part 3 opens by montaging New York city to the tune of “Summer in the City” by the Lovin Spoonful. You got the cars, you got the people, you got the stores and then oh yeah you got a big explosion. So right away you say wait a minute, these terrorists, these motherfuckers are working on a bigger canvas this time. That canvas, in my opinion, is called New York city. So it’s a whole different thing we’re dealing with here McClane.

Now the second difference here is that McClane doesn’t just happen to be there by coincidence. In fact he’s on suspension and he’s out drinking and they have to find him, because the mastermind who calls himself Simon asks for McClane specifically. (Not to give anything away but he is Hans Grueber’s brother out for revenge.)

In my opinion the opening is the best part of this piece. This one harkens way the fuck back to Bruce Willis’s Die Hard 1 (1988) in which John McClane was introduced as Hollywood’s most fucked up action hero. He’s separated from his wife, he fucks up bad and starts arguing with her, I mean the guy’s falling apart so much he’s walking around without shoes on.

Die Hard: With a VengeanceJohn McClane With a Vengeance is introduced in the same type of way. This time he’s suspended from the force, everyone hates him and makes fun of him. He looks like shit, he complains about his hangover, brags about his dick, and his co-workers enjoy sending him out into Harlem in his underwear wearing a sign that says “I hate niggers” (by special request from this fucker Simon.)

So while in the other ones McClane just wants to get through all this so he can talk to his wife, in this one he just wants to get over the fucking hangover. Unfortunately I didn’t expect this but his relationship with Hollie seems to be down the tubes, they’re living in different cities again and they haven’t talked in months. You don’t even see the dame during the movie although he tries to call her on the phone.

I wish they would have continued with McClane as this drunk fuck, but he kind of turns into Batman somewhere along the way, probably because of all this riddle me this shit Simon is doing. One problem I have is Bruce starts to get cocky. In the other ones, he is in a tight situation and has to improvise, and alot of times he starts swearing cause he knows the chances of this shit working are slim. I mean how are you going to be sure you can tie a firehose around your waist and swing down and kick through a window with bare feet. Well Bruce With a Vengeance wouldn’t be nervous. He knows how to drive a taxi the wrong way on a busy one way street, through a park, off a bridge – doesn’t even hesitate. He knows how to grappling hook from a bridge to a boat. And the cops all hate him at the beginning but then they let him do whatever he wants, like fly up in a helicopter and get on the megaphone and go, “Hey dickhead, did I come at a bad time?” as the cops surround the building.

On the positive side, he doesn’t get his badge back at the end or anything like that. He just blows the dude up and goes to make a phone call.

I like this movie. Simon’s robbery scheme is clever, and his riddles lead to some exciting action scenes. And of course Bruce is still representing for the Badass community which I really preciate, don’t get me wrong.

I don’t know why they needed to give Bruce a partner, but I enjoyed this gentleman Samuel L. Jackson. Like me Samuel is a Positive individual who tries to keep peace in his community. At the same time he does not want anything from no fucking whites and he is suspicious of McClane. And what Samuel shows in my opinion is that you can be a Positive individual and still say motherfucker alot, which in my opinion is a lesson Hollywood needs to understand if they’re ever going to come to terms with a dude like me.