07/06/2011

Yes, Another Post About Die Hard


Despite having seen it approximately 4.1 million times and knowing it better than most members of my family, I paid cold hard cash to watch Die Hard at London's Prince Charles Cinema one depressing Saturday afternoon. Watching one of my favourite films ever on the big screen with an audience full of McClane enthusiasts was an unadulterated joy, but I happened to notice a few things that slipped past me the previous 4.1 million viewings.

Holly McClane (neé Gennero) Is Kind Of A Badass


I'm no expert when it comes to the character traits of an action hero's other half but I'm pretty sure Holly is the only one to be so utterly awesome. Nowadays her decision to take an unmissable job opportunity across the country and leave her unsupportive husband at home would have made her some unlikeable bitch but here the audience is not expected to hate her but rather appreciate that John McClane isn't married to some two dimensional damsel in distress. She also bests Hans Gruber more than a few times with her quick witted responses and wears cleavage revealing white lace to her place of business. Holly McClane is boss.

Note: While researching actress Bonnie Bedelia I found out she is the sister of Kit Culkin and the aunt of Macaulay, Kieran and Rory. How damn big is that family?

The Black Guy Survives


Black characters being the first to snuff it has become such a prominent and laughable cinematic cliché that some films dedicate entire speeches to the fact that brothers don't last long in situations like this, so imagine my surprise when I noticed that Theo, the computer geek needed to unlock the Nakatomi vault, is the only one of Gruber's henchmen to not get shot to holy hell. Then again, if he was caught by the coppers passed out in the truck one assumes he's now in prison and finding it difficult to sit down. Maybe death would've been better.

McClane Makes Smoking Cool


Smoking is the most disgusting habit a human being can indulge in. Yellow fingers, stained teeth and the constant stench are the most potent boner killers known to man and when in need of a quick fag, the shameless begging that occurs in order to procure one is nothing less than painfully pathetic. Having said that, I'd put aside my unwavering hatred for the damn things to look half as cool as John McClane does above.

Ellis Is A Bit Brilliant


Bearded cokehead Harry Ellis is not only a movie jerk, he's the personification of 80s yuppie delusion, excess and misplaced egotism. Despite being an absolute douchebag, he has some killer lines and the entire scene in which he meets a sticky yet hilarious end is so brilliantly paced and acted by all involved it gives some of the more action-packed sequences competition in the entertainment department. Oh yeah, his beverage of choice is Diet Coke. That's shit'll rot your teeth, dude.

It Takes Its Sweet Ass Time


Most films tend to start off with a massive set piece in order to let audiences know that THIS IS AN ACTION FILM and IT'S FUN SO YOU DON'T NEED TO WORRY ABOUT A PLOT OR ANYTHING but Die Hard is so much better than that. It's a good half an hour before we even see the bad guys let alone hear some gun shots and it's all the better for it. Instead we get some tightly scripted exposition at a relaxed pace that doesn't waste time by throwing in anything of no consequence. Everything that happens in the second and third act is explained in the first but is handled with such a subtle hand you don't realise how important lines and set ups were until you get there. Nothing is rushed in the last moments in a desperate attempt to wrapped things up and for that, I thank them.

Die Hard: The film that gets better with each viewing.