I managed to avoid seeing it for almost twenty-one years.
It’s not that I have anything personally against it. I never saw it, how could I? But I knew – knew, the way you know that bone sticking out of your arm is going to hurt real soon now – that I wouldn’t like it. It’s just not my kind of movie.
Don’t get me wrong – I’ve enjoyed my share of action, mindless-explosions, implausible, impossible plotlines, bad acting and ridiculous sequence movies. I have. I’ve sat through most of Arnold Schwartenegger’s movies, and that should tell you a lot. I’ve also sat through my share of Jean-Claude Van Damme celluloid debacles. So it’s not necessarily the genre.
Later, I came to appreciate the lead actor. Heck, in the right role, he can be pretty good. But as an action hero? I never bought it. Never. And I know emphatically, empirically, I was right all along, and should’ve continued to avoid it.
I, of course, mean Die Hard, the 1988 “action” movie starring Bruce “Whatchoo Talkin’ ‘Bout” Willis. Bruce Willis, the New York cop who wanders around the airport in Los Angeles for the first few minutes of the movie staring at everything he sees as though New York is a land of stoic sanity and conservatism, muttering “fuckin’ California” under his breath and shaking his head. Because, y’know – New Yorkers are so much more “normal” and mundane than those wacky Californians.
Anyway, I doubt any of you need me to tell you what the movie is about. For some of you this is a beloved childhood (!) movie, so I’ll spare you the details. But let me say this to summarize: UGH.
Yes, it was the late ‘80s, and yes, things were … well, different then. My wife, beloved and patient most of the time, actually asked me not to “mock it” (“mock”, if you don’t know, is a favorite, worn-out and tired word of hers for my attitude of criticism and insightful analysis), stating she and my son would watch it later (this was about halfway through the movie, at a point when I was sure I’d strain a muscle or ligament if I rolled my eyes any harder).
It took me a great deal of self-restraint – something I don’t practice much, mind you – not to make anymore statements aside from “Oh, come ON!”, or “Gimme a break, willya?” But I did, at last, succeed in (mostly) holding my tongue and letting it finish out.
I sit through stinky movies – I do it all the time and God alone knows why – and I will consider this one of those. I have no explanation for why I do it, I can only tell you I do.
I guess I’m just a cowboy that way. As the hero in this “movie” said: Yippie-Kai-Yay, motherf**ker. (Not you guys, of course; none of you are M-Fers. Heh.)
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