In the course of my UnSerious Movie Watching During The Holidays, today I found myself revisiting Die Harder (aka Die Hard 2). Tell me, pop culture vultures, is not the villainous Colonel Stuart (William Sadler) - is he not absolutely the celluloid lovechild of Keir Dullea in 2001: A Space Odyssey and Ed Harris in The Right Stuff?
I have a soft spot for the Die Hard series (#3 notwithstanding – it wasn’t rubbish, it just wasn’t as good as the first two). One of the many things I like is the effort taken to make the fight sequences appear at least moderately improvised with what is truly to hand – the fight choreography is exceptionally well done. I also like that there’s always some level of familiarity with the world of the working class maintenance folks necessary to what McClane gets up to – it’s not just officer-class stuff such as that which tends to be served up by the Bond and Star Trek franchises (when was the last time anybody in StarFleet wasn’t at least an Ensign? and what service can operate without ratings, seriously?).
I notice with Asian martial arts action movies that they do tend to do a better job of acknowledging that there is a master class and a servant class, and indeed an upper and lower servant class, and these inter-relations are part of the challenges that the hero must navigate. it’s marginally better than pretending that these social divisions don’t exist, I guess.