In our home we have two entertainment based traditions, with the first being that we watch the Big Fat Quiz of the Year just after Christmas, and the second being that over the festive period we’ll have a Die hard movie marathon… We fit in as many as we can, and the most we’ve managed on a single day has so far been 4 – but no matter what we will always fit in my 2 Christmas movies. And before you say anything else… Yes this film is so damn good that I got so excited to share my love for it that I totally forgot that I already reviewed this thing 13 months ago, but have just poured half an hour of my life in to this thing so here you go again!
Now I agree that the rest aren’t Christmas movies… they have nothing to do with Christmas, other than the fact that they contain John McClane – the star of the world’s 2 greatest Christmas Movies!
I’ve actually just finished watching this little beauty for this year and I have to say that it doesn’t get any worse every time. It isn’t getting any better – but it’s instead staying steady at a level of awesome which it really doesn’t need to try and pass. Why shoot for anything past almost perfect when your older brother (the world’s absolute greatest Christmas movie) already occupies the spot of perfect movie.
You’ll watch this movie and no doubt think to yourself… “What on earth is he talking about, almost perfect?” Listen, I know that John McClane is an awesome character with incredible one liners, and I love the fact that unlike in many action movies, as he gets hurt throughout the film, those layers of bruises, cuts and scrapes slowly build up like a woven tapestry of ass beatings! Those injuries aren’t always the most realistic and it’s fairly likely that John McClane wouldn’t have actually survived any of his movies, but it’s Hollywood, so a little artistic license is allowed.
I also like the nostalgia of seeing people smoking at the airport, bringing a tazer on to an aeroplane and figuring out how to use a fax machine as if it’s some kind of new technology – this movie really does have it all! The only thing missing for today’s audiences is a generous helping of sex and nudity… Which seems to be a staple for most television or streaming shows at least these days. Although we do get a bit of flirting between John and some very big hair-dos!
So why is it only almost perfect?
Is it the stunt work? Nope that’s bang on form (if again a little bit unrealistic – but certainly not in the realms of certain death jumps he makes in the 3rd and 4th films (and probably the 5th as well to be fair))
So is it the costume department? No, it looks just like you want the 80s to look!
Actors? Hang on don’t answer that – Bruce Willis at his prime lifted all the other actors around him to perfection, until he started doing films where he skate boards butt naked down the street – yup that film exists! But let’s be serious, the casting for this film was absolutely brilliant with Willis being joined by Bonnie Bedelia, William Atherton, Reginald VelJohnson (although if you ask me he should have a cameo in every Die Hard film), William Sadler and Art Evans.
You want to know which tiny ridiculous details bug me about this film? Firstly why is there steam everywhere? In the maintenance tunnels, runways and even baggage handling area there are steaming gushing pipes everywhere! Couldn’t they have used some real snow machines rather than bombarding the cast with fluff in scenes where they come in from outdoors? And finally do we really need to start the film with a really weird scene where William Sadler does really slow and more importantly naked karate?
Let’s get back to something akin to a review here though. For me these 2 are 2 of the best movies ever made and I love that they reference back to the first movie quite regularly as if McClane became a minor celebrity as a result of the antics in the first film. The execution of both movies is flawless and I can’t think of any other franchise where the first movie and at least the first (and maybe even second) sequel is almost just as good. It rarely happens!
Do yourself a favor and watch these 2 films… and if possible do so for Christmas. They are definitely both Christmas movies – ignore what Bruce Willis says about it – what does he know.