Movies & TV / Columns

The 411 Douchebag of the Week: The Die Hard 2: Die Harder Christmas Edition

December 26, 2016 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz

The 411mania Douchebag of the Week

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the latest edition of The 411 Douchebag of the Week. I’m Bryan Kristopowitz.

Okay, so, technically, Christmas was yesterday but, since I did a Douchebag of the Week Special Edition last year all about Die Hard (go ahead and read that if you didn’t read it last year or don’t remember it), I figured that it was worth doing a Die Hard 2: Die Harder edition this year since part 2 is, much like the original, a Christmas movie of sorts. In fact, hero John McClane actually asks during the movie “how can the same thing happen to the same guy twice?”, meaning a major terrorist incident on Christmas that he has to thwart somehow.

McClaneDieHard2

In Die Hard 2: Die Harder, McClane, once again played by Bruce Willis, gets caught up in a big hooha terrorist incident at Dulles International Airport in Washington D.C. right before Christmas. A group of ex-American military Special Forces scumbags take over the airport so they can rescue dictator and noted international drug runner Ramon Esperanza (the Franco Nero), who is being transported from Val Verde to the United States for trial. The Special Forces operators thought of damn near everything when putting their plan together (look at how they take over the airport by using the little church just a stone’s throw away from the runways and whatnot). They know that there will be no real opposition to their scheme because, hey, Special Forces guys are badass and it’s what they do. However, McClane’s presence at the airport didn’t figure into the big plan, and McClane does his damndest to fuck up the big scheme by being a big pain in the ass (and killing a bunch of guys while doing so. How goddamn awesome is that icicle through the eye?). And because he’s John goddamn McClane, he figures out how to kick ass, survive, and save the day.

There’s just no other way for the story to end.

For some reason this story isn’t referenced in any of the later sequels. In fact, in Die Hard with a Vengeance, the third movie, McClane is still famous for his exploits inside Nakatomi Tower in Los Angeles. You’d think that McClane taking down a bunch of rogue ex-Special Forces guys while saving loads of people and blowing up a huge goddamn airplane would have made the news at some point afterwards and would have been a big deal. I mean, McClane actually interacts with media people while at the airport and uses a local TV station’s helicopter to get into position to blow up the big plane at the end. Did they mess up the story? I think I need someone in the Die Hard cinematic universe to explain this to me.

Anyway, I love Die Hard 2. I saw it in a movie theatre on its opening weekend back in 1990 and endured a massive opening day crowd to witness director Renny Harlin’s best movie to date. And when it’s on TV I try to make an effort to check it out, even in its edited form. It has everything one needs for a kick ass action flick: a badass hero, badass villains, blood and guts, big stunts, plenty of fighting, cussing like you wouldn’t believe, and an exploding plane at the end.

So who is the top Die Hard 2: Die Harder douchebag? Read on to find out!

DieHard2Poster

The 411mania Douchebag of the Week: The Die Hard 2: Die Harder Christmas Edition

But first, this week’s honorable mentions:

MarvinDieHard2

Marvin the janitor: As played by the great Tom Bower, Marvin the janitor is a weird guy who apparently lives in the airport. He works there, obviously, but when you look at his office or whatever the hell it is it sure does look like a living space. He has airport plans and maps all over the place. And he seems to think that the golf cart that he rides around on is his golf cart. Now, normally, I wouldn’t think of putting a guy like Marvin on a list like this. He’s weird, he’s eccentric, and there’s nothing wrong with that. And so what if he lives at the airport? The guy loves his job. Who doesn’t want to love their job? But I decided to put him on this list because, in the midst of all of the carnage and whatnot, he tries to get McClane to pay for a walkie talkie he took from one of the dead terrorists. What kind of douchebag asshole tries to make a quick buck in the midst of a major crisis?

I like Marvin, I really do. But he should have just given the walkie talkie to McClane and moved on. If he needed to make money from the crisis, he should have filed some sort of health insurance mental health claim with the airport’s human resources people. If he did that and made a big stink about it Marvin could have received way more that the miniscule amount he asked McClane for. Hundreds of thousands, maybe even a million or two.

Wasted opportunity, man, Wasted opportunity.

DennisFranzDieHard2

Captain Carmine Lorenzo: Played by the great Dennis Franz, Captain Lorenzo is the head of the airport police. He’s a foul mouthed bully and loud asshole who just can’t stand McClane, especially when McClane shows him up. Lorenzo knows what he’s doing. He’s the head of the airport police! He deals with heavy shit every day. That heavy shit, though, tends to be luggage related. Lorenzo has never had to deal with terrorists who just so happen to be American ex-Special Forces. And he just can’t admit that he has no idea what he’s doing. He just yells, screams, makes sarcastic remarks, and generally just fucks everything up.

Lorenzo eventually redeems himself by teaming up with McClane at the end when he finds out that he, and every other airport official, has been played by Colonel Stuart and his men. But even then it takes McClane firing blanks at him from a stolen machine gun for him to figure it out. If Lorenzo had just calmed down and listened, focused on what the hell was happening around him and noticed that McClane was the only one who seemed to know what the hell was going on he might have been able to help out sooner.

I will admit that I do love his “Hey, where the fuck is McClane?” line. How is that not a T-shirt right now?

ThornbergDieHard2

Richard Thornberg: Oh, man, Dick Thornberg. What a goddamn douchebag. We knows this before he starts doing anything in parts 2 from the way he acted in the first movie. He’s a relentless publicity hound who may, in a way, be a good journalist in that he’s able to ferret out scoops and news and whatnot, but he isn’t in the game to find the truth and help people. All Thornberg is interested in is making himself look and feel important.

So in Die Harder Thornberg is on one of the planes that can’t land because of the airport takeover. He’s curious about what the hell is going on and, with the help of a fellow lackey onboard, manages to find out what’s really happening by monitoring air traffic communications. Thornberg then uses one of the phones onboard the plane to call a Washington D.C. TV station and tell them what he knows. He then starts doing a dramatic “If this is my last broadcast…” speech while looking into a mirror. Think of what this story could do for his career, living or dead! He’ll be a goddamn broadcast news legend!

McClane’s wife Holly happens to be on the same plane, finds out what Thornberg is doing, and uses a Taser on the douchebag to shut him the hell up. And Thornberg deserved it. I’m kind of annoyed that Holly didn’t keep jabbing him with the Taser over and over again.

What do you think Thornberg is up to now? Do you think he’s a national correspondent with a major network? I think it’s time someone made a movie out of this guy. I bet people would watch it. I know I would watch it.

ColonelStuartDieHard2DieHarder

Colonel William Stuart: As played by the great William Sadler, Colonel Stuart is a cold hearted psychopath and traitor who sided with a drug running piece of shit like Esperanza because he wasn’t a Communist. He’s exactly the kind of guy who would take over a commercial airport, cause mass panic, and kill hundreds of people (men, women, and children) in a heartbeat if he thought it would improve the chances of achieving his objective. And that’s exactly what Colonel Stuart does. He’s just a terrible, horrible, awful human being.

Colonel Stuart is also keen on doing naked karate exercises every morning. He’ll even do them in a hotel room. Why? It’s never explained. He just apparently does them every morning. I’ve always figured that he did those exercises naked because being nude gave him a weird, gross thrill, like he’s a superior human and he enjoys flaunting his balls while front kicking imaginary adversaries. Do you think he made the men in his unit watch him do these exercises before they became a part of the team? Doesn’t he seem like the kind of guy that would do that kind of thing?

What the hell is wrong with wearing underwear while doing your morning exercises, Colonel? What the fuck, man?

And finally, this week’s 411 Douchebag of the Week: Die Hard 2: Die Harder Christmas Edition goes to

Douchebag

MajorGrantDieHard2

Major Grant. As played by James Evans hisself John Amos, Major Grant seems like a good guy at first. He’s brought in to deal with Colonel Stuart’s team of scumbag ex-Special Forces operators and he seems to have a burning need to beat the shit out of the Colonel and kill the bastard. He also tells Captain Lorenzo to shut the fuck up and allows McClane to participate in the assault on the church. How could you not get behind the one guy, outside of the airport’s operations chief played by Fred Dalton Thompson, who gets that McClane is there to help?

Well, as we find out in the truck right after the church explosion, Major Grant isn’t a good guy at all. Major Grant is part of Colonel Stuart’s big scheme and just as a big of a piece of shit as Stuart. And on top of all of that Major Grant slits a young soldier’s throat because that particular young soldier wasn’t part of the plan (the soldier replaced a guy who was sick). Why not read him in on the scheme? I bet he would joined up with the team considering the amount of money involved. Or he could have just told the soldier to stay back at the airport to “coordinate” something. But no, Major Grant had to slit the dude’s throat.

Motherfucker.

I still thoroughly enjoy what happens to Major Grant at the end. I hope he felt quite a bit of it.

**

Well, that’s Douchebag of the Week: The Die Hard 2: Die Harder Christmas Edition. I hope you liked it. Thanks for reading.

Agree? Disagree? Sign up with disqus and comment. You know you want to, so just go do it.

Please “like” The Gratuitous B-Movie Column on Facebook!

Oh, and B-movies rule. Always remember that.

Merry Christmas!

Happy Holidays!