Shiny Shelf


By Stephen Lavington on 09 December 2006

Bruce Willis may not be the obvious contender for title of Christmas action hero (Arnold Schwarzenegger can, after all, draw on Jingle All the Way, and good luck to him with that) but with Die Hard and Die Harder he’s definitely put in a tougher time than most wise-cracking trigger-happy gunslingers over the festive period.

In Die Hard John McClane has to deal with perhaps the worst Christmas office party in history. Not only has someone swiped his shoes while the company lothario cracks on to his wife, but the whole thing is gatecrashed by a host of European terrorist-thieves headed by the sharp-suited Alan Rickman. True enough any festive thoughts may be pushed to the background as Willis does his thing in the sort of LA backdrop that could be set at any time of year, but Die Hard retains Christmas credentials thanks to its undoubted status as the late-night answer to The Great Escape – a comfortably familiar piece of boys-own escapism that doesn’t require too much (if indeed any) thought.

The brace of Willis is completed with Die Harder, more explicitly seasonal with snow-bound Dulles airport in Washington the setting. Otherwise it’s business as usual with rogue US special forces out to free a former South-American dictator. On the Christmas Carol scale it’s Tiny Tim rather than Die Hard’s Ebeneezer Scrooge but still does the job for anyone who can’t stomach It’s A Wonderful Life on top of all the mince-pies, pudding and cake, and are looking for something a bit more bangy.

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By Stephen Lavington

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