Yippie Ki Yay

–Random bar conversation from the other night:–

 

friend:

What do you think is the most well acted movie?

 

me:

Oh, easy. “Die Hard”.

If you like actors that play great assholes (as I do) than “Die Hard” is your “Ben Hur”.

To start with, they have the Lennon and McCartney of assholes:

 


Paul Gleason

as

Deputy Police Chief Dwayne T. Robinson
 

previous work as an asshole: The Breakfast Club

best asshole line: “Christ, Powell, he could be a fucking bartender for all we know!”

question: how was this guy NOT the villain in every Adam Sandler movie? Those shitboats would have won oscars.

William Atherton

as

Richard Thornburg
 

previous work as an asshole: Ghost Busters

best asshole line: “Eat it Harvey”

fact: this guy is so great at playing assholes, each of his movies is re-written so it ends with a woman punching him in the face.

 

Then, as though that wasn’t worth the price of admission alone, they throw in a couple of tangential assholes:

 


Robert Davi

as
Special Agent Johnson

previous work as an asshole: jerk hitman in most bad mob movies

best asshole line: “You want authority, how about the United States Fucking Government!”

tragedy: a victim of his own success. Could walk on screen and be hated so quickly, they quit using him in ‘real’ mob movies (that require layered villains). Now plays mobsters in bad comedies.

Alan Rickman

as
Hans Gruber

disclaimer: doesn’t really play an asshole in this movie so much as a villain. In fact, he plays the slimy European so well (“Die Hard”, “Robin Hood”), his attempts to break character accidentally back-fired (“Galaxy Quest”, “Love Actually”, “Bottle Shock”) and he turned those parts into assholes.

 

Then, as a final bonus, they have the best cocaine performance of all time:

 

Hart Bochner

as
Harry Ellis

The great tragedy of Hart Bochner’s career is, “Die Hard” came out in 1989, the final year of our decade-long coke binge. If it had come out a few years earlier, this guy would have gotten more work than Robert Downey Jr.

Before Bochner, Hollywood portrayed cocaine as a drug that young people do once, then it ruins their lives. But it took a Canadian actor to come down here and say, “actually, it’s used by asshole business men so they can feel like they are the life of the party”.

The way he says “Hans, Buubby” just drips cocaine.

That would have been my review, at the time, and I’m fairly certain they would have used it in ads. Of course, I was 12 when it was released so perhaps not.

Lastly, some lessons I’ve learned on how to play a great asshole:

  • It helps if your name is Richard, so angry protagonists can loudly call you “Dick!”.
  • related to the above point, “Robocop” is the second most well acted movie for fans of assholes
  • an asshole always includes his job title when introducing himself
  • comb your hair often when you feel people aren’t looking
  • chew gum loudly while giving instructions
  • regularly threaten to sue
  • make women leave the room for no logical reason whatsoever before speaking
  • wildly underestimate and overestimate other people’s ages
  • call people “pal” when you’re talking down to them.

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