The Videogum Holiday Movie Club: Die Hard

Before watching Die Hard this week, the closest I had come to seeing the holiday classic was having seen the Stella short “Office Party” roughly one hundred thousand times. Now, after having watched Die Hard, I can say that I think watching that short pretty much counts! It has just about all of the parts. (“I’m looking for Mr. Patrick G. McGillicutty, the CEO of your organization. Educated Cornhole University, Poopiebutt Law School class of ’75.”) One thing it did not prepare me for, though, is the fact that the grandmother from Parenthood plays Bruce Willis’s wife in this movie. What?! If you had told me that, I would not have watched this movie any earlier, but I would have looked up a picture of her in it! How did everyone let me float through this stupid world without letting me know that? HOW HAS THAT NOT BEEN IN SOME STUPID LIST? “7 Grandmothers From TV Who Played Bruce Willis’s Wife In Movies.” “13 Women And How They Have Aged.” “8 Things Parenthood Characters Used To Do.” It’s just upsetting. Next thing you’re going to tell me is that Craig T. Nelson did something before he was on Parenthood! (Just kidding, I know he was in The Family Stone.) Anyway. So. Die Hard. It’s kind of like Holiday In Handcuffs in that it’s about people being kidnapped and the only Christmas-y thing about it is that it happens during Christmas time,  except instead of Melissa Joan Hart it’s Alan Rickman, and instead of Mario Lopez it’s Bruce Willis, and instead of falling in love with his kidnapper, Bruce Willis straight up murders all of them.

I have to say that if I were in the position to watch a Christmas movie with someone and that someone lobbied heavily for Die Hard, that someone would have to just give me the biggest break in the world because this does not count as a Christmas movie. I basically knew that before I watched that, and I know it still. Menacing Christmas music does count, but it doesn’t count for much! Could one of the thieves not be dressed up as Santa? Could more of the catchphrases not be Christmas themed? “Both of our last names are Santa Claus. YES, BOTH OF US! NO, THE OTHER ONE! YES, ME, MR. SANTA CLAUS!” Could there not be more garland around?! COULD THE SHITTY 911 OPERATOR NOT GIVE THE EXCUSE THAT IT WAS CHRISTMAS EVE?!

It is crazy how not helpful everyone except eventually Reginald VelJohnson (Carl Winslow) is in this movie. Like, I know we’re talking about Die Hard and that that is a movie that everyone has seen and I guess we all know that no one is helpful and maybe that is a running joke in all of the Die Hards, but please just relax because I had never seen it, and uh, lady answering the protected walkie taklie line? YOU HEARD A GUNSHOT, YOU DUMB-DUMB. WHO CARES IF HE SHOULDN’T BE ON THIS WALKIE TALKIE LINE?! DO YOUR JOB!! Also, when a guy falls out of the building that is supposedly under attack, and the deputy police chief says, “It’s probably some stock broker who got depressed”? ARE YOU KIDDING ME, DEPUTY POLICE CHIEF, YOU MANIAC?! Everyone in this movie needs to get fired right away! Including Mr. Driver and including Mr. Television. In fact, the only people who don’t need to get fired in this movie are Bruce Willis, Reginald VelJohnson (even though he shot a kid) (PS: it was very very funny when he said “I shot a kid”) and all of the terrorists they murder. The terrorists at least DID THEIR JOB.

Police Chief. I can’t even look at you. One thing that struck me while watching this movie is how thin of a line there is between a good action movie and a laughable action movie. It seemed like all of the parts were there for Die Hard to be a laughable action movie — Christmas, an intense amount of catchphrases (“Didja get that?”), Bruce Willis being so loud and smoking all the time when he should really be hiding more carefully, an intense amount of post-murder joke lines, laughably incompetent people in power situations, funny accents, Bruce Willis not going to the hospital immediately when he 100% desperately needs to and also getting patted on the shoulder by everyone when he was just shot in that shoulder, easy German spoken slowly. And yet, it isn’t a laughably bad action movie, and is instead it is a good action movie! LOL. That is genuinely pretty much the only place I was going with that, plz send this to film schools so they can use it in classes, don’t be greedy! I think it helps that the only two people that could play Alan Rickman’s all-knowing character without it seeming completely ridiculous (how did he know the FBI would arrive and cut the power at the exact time the drill was cutting through the whatever level?) (?!) are Alan Rickman and Benedict Cumberbatch, and they did get Alan Rickman. So. I believed it! It also helps that Bruce Willis is so stupid good. It’s a good movie.

Do tell your dad that it barely counts as a Christmas movie, though. And EAT YOUR HEART OUT, CHANNEL FIVE!