As some of you may recall, not very long ago on this very blog I listed the ten most annoying things about the undeserving Christmas movie Love Actually. It was in the spirit of holiday fun, and we all had a few laughs.
Well, not all of us.
Among those who took issue with my list was my very own wife, whose irrational insistence on watching the movie every year prompted the piece in the first place. She demanded equal time to do a similar hatchet job on *my* favorite Christmas movie, the inimitable Die Hard. So without further ado, here are the ten most annoying things about that 1988 Bruce Willis masterpiece, as dictated to yours truly by the wife, who shall hereafter be referred to as...The Wife.
Oh, one last thing. Since it's my name on this, I reserved the right to get the last word.
1. What Company Has Their Christmas Party on Christmas Eve?
The Wife: The Nakatomi people are pretty confident no one in the company is going out of town for the holidays. And then Holly (Bonnie Bedelia) tells her very pregnant assistant Ginny, "You're making me feel like Ebenezer Scrooge." I've got news for you, "Ms." Gennaro: You *are* Ebenezer Scrooge if your secretary is working at 5:40 on Christmas Eve.
Pete Responds: Clearly our parents aren't kidding when they talk about this generation's lousy work ethic. Or maybe John was closer to the mark than he knew when he questioned whether or not they celebrated Christmas in Japan.
2. Who Does Cocaine in Someone Else's Office? Without Locking the Door?
The Wife: And in a *superior's* office ("What idiot put you in charge?"), no less. What's more, Takagi doesn't seem too upset by this.
Pete Responds: First off, if you weren't constantly doing coke in the '80s, you were either less than 13 years of age or a titanic nerd. Second, we're establishing Ellis as a prick whose death we won't mourn.
3. Gruber Didn't Know What Takagi Looked Like?
The Wife: He goes through this prolonged routine to figure out which Japanese guy at the party is the President of Nakatomi, then mentions, "I read the article in Forbes" when Takagi wonders if Gruber and company are there because of the Indonesia project. They didn't have a picture of the company president in a Forbes article?
Pete Responds: Gruber is German, and Germans are notoriously racist. His little song-and-dance was to obscure the fact that all Asians look alike to him.
4. McLane Has a Gun to Tony's Head, and Hits Him with His Elbow?
The Wife: That seems like poor tactics.
Pete Responds: Hey, there are rules for policemen.
5. Marco Should've Taken His Own Advice
The Wife: "Don't hesitate" when you have a chance to kill someone? Then why waste all that time and ammo shooting around the table instead of through it, like McClane ended up doing?
Pete Responds: I have obviously failed in teaching you the ways of '80s action movies, in which all deaths must be drawn out and followed by witty rejoinders.
6. McClane's Wife Beater Changes Colors
The Wife: It goes from white to dark green. Nobody sweats like that.
Pete Responds: McClane bleeds a lot, and I read some fan fiction where he was actually a Vulcan. Or that might have been one of those whiskey-induced fever dreams.
7. The Four SWAT Assholes Aren't Using "Standard 2x2 Cover Formation"
The Wife: They aren't using any kind of cover formation, they're just...running.
Pete Responds: Okay, I gave her that one.
8. The FBI Cuts the Power, But the Christmas Tree Is Still Lit
The Wife: Kind of hard to get the terrorists to "piss their pants" if the festive holiday decorations are still functioning.
Pete Responds: Now now, for all we know, Nakatomi kept the decorations on the backup generator circuit. You know, to increase morale. *cough*
9. Argyle Tells McClane to Call Him, Then Spends Most of the Ensuing Six Hours on the Phone in the Limo
The Wife: Did he have call waiting? He had no way of knowing that the circuits were cut, but didn't he feel even the slightest remorse when he saw Thornburg reporting from outside the building, knowing he might have prevented McClane's escape?
Pete Responds: Argyle knew, from previous conversations with McClane, that he was going to make up with Holly. His sticking around as long as he did was merely a formality. Besides, who else could've taken out Theo?
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the mission of the Houston Press. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Houston’s stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
10. Karl Has the Drop on McClane Twice and Doesn't Finish Him Off
The Wife: Karl has a gun to McClane's head (a clever callback to McClane and Tony -- Pete), then decides he'd rather fight him hand to hand. Then he has him on the ground and is efficiently kicking the shit out of him before diving on him. Why jeopardize that by getting close? Isn't McClane a cop with street fighting experience? What did the guy think would happen?
Pete Responds: I'm pretty much in complete agreement on this one, but I would still refer you to one of the generally understood principles of '80s action movies: The good guy has to enjoy a prolonged throwdown, followed by a novelty death. Point: Die Hard.