Christmas is less than two weeks away. This is the time to share with your family. You can enjoy Christmas decorations, Christmas tree, and all that cheer and spirit all around. This is the time to enjoy good old movies and cartoons. I cannot imagine Christmas without Home Alone and Home Alone (Not Home Alone) for adults – Die Hard.
Both movie series are very similar, and it seems that after the success of Die Hard, Chris Columbus decided to make a family version of it. And similar to Home Alone, only the first two parts of Die Hard I can call classic. However, in a case of Die Hard, we still have Bruce Willis as John McClane. So you can enjoy all five movies, or watch at least the first two classics.
So, do not make any plans for this Christmas. It’s Die Hard time!
On Christmas Eve, New York City Police Department (NYPD) Detective John McClane arrives in Los Angeles, hoping to reconcile with his estranged wife, Holly, at a party held by her employer, the Nakatomi Corporation. He is driven to Nakatomi Plaza by a limo driver, Argyle, who offers to wait for McClane in the garage. While McClane changes clothes, the tower is seized by German radical Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) and his heavily armed team, including Karl and Theo. Everyone in the tower is taken hostage except for McClane, who slips away.
During their assault the terrorists use Kenwood two-way radios. That’s how John manages to get attention of the police. They sent Al Powell to check the situation. But before he comes to the rescue we see him shopping for Twinkies. In this scene we also see other Hostess Cakes products, Coke and Tic Tac.
When the terrorists “welcome” the police, one of them can not resist to enjoy some sweets. We are all people after all. In this scene we see Mars, Crunch, Hershey’s, Raisinets, Planters, Doublemint, Juicy Fruit, etc.
When the FBI guys ask to switch off the power grid, we can see another famous two-way radio company – Motorola.
The FBI agrees to Gruber’s demand for a helicopter, intending to send gunship helicopters to eliminate the group. McClane realizes Gruber plans to blow the roof to kill the hostages and fake his team’s deaths. Karl, enraged by the death of his brother Tony, attacks McClane and is apparently killed. Gruber sees a news report by Richard Thornburg on McClane’s children and deduces that he is Holly’s husband.
The hostages are taken to the roof while Gruber keeps Holly with him. McClane drives the hostages from the roof just before Gruber detonates it and destroys the approaching FBI helicopters. Meanwhile, Theo retrieves a van from the parking garage but is neutralized by Argyle, who has been following events on his car radio.
A weary and battered McClane finds Holly with Gruber and his remaining henchman. McClane surrenders to Gruber and is about to be shot, but grabs his concealed service pistol taped to his back and uses his last two bullets to wound Gruber and kill his accomplice. Gruber crashes through a window but grabs onto Holly’s wristwatch and makes a last-ditch attempt to kill the pair before McClane unclasps the watch and Gruber falls to his death.
Outside, Karl ambushes McClane and Holly but is killed by Powell. Holly punches Thornburg when he attempts to interview McClane before Argyle crashes through the parking garage door in the limo and drives McClane and Holly away together.
On Christmas Eve two years after the events of Die Hard, John McClane, now a lieutenant with the Los Angeles Police Department, arrives at Dulles International Airport to pick up his wife, Holly. Meanwhile, a plane carrying corrupt foreign military leader General Ramon Esperanza (Franco Nero) is also headed to Dulles under extradition for using U.S. funds to buy drugs. Waiting to meet Esperanza’s plane is disgraced former Colonel William Stuart (William Sadler) and a group of ex-military sympathizers who supported Esperanza’s actions. Suspicious, McClane follows two of Stuart’s men into a restricted baggage sorting area where a gun fight ensues. McClane kills one man, but the other escapes.
In the beginning of the movie together with Colonel we watch a documentary on a Proton TV. Same time John calls his wife using Pacific Bell.
When the terrorists decide to base in the church, they pretend to be the technicians to enter and kill the old man who likes Pepsi. And later in the movie we will see that he is wan not the only one who loved that drink.
All the terrorists are former military men, and all of them prefer Tag Heuer watches. We see them several times during the movie. They also like Miller beer. We can see product placement in the airport scene.
When John pursues the terrorists in the airport baggage sorting area, we can see ASEA robots there. ASEA and BBC merged in 1988 to form the company we now all know as ABB. There we also spot Tiger Shark golf clubs brand.
Later in the movie we spot Budget product placement – in the crime scene in the airport, and the woman who helps John with the fax works for Budget. John sends the fax using Sanyo fax machine with the fingerprints of the terrorist he killed to his colleague Al in LA. And again we see him eating Twinkies.
When the terrorists try to connect to the airport communication systems, we see one of them cutting the cable with STIHL chainsaw. We can also see that the airport staff and the terrorists use Kenwood two-way radios.
Closer to the end of the movie we see the television guys preparing another sensation. They smoke Marlboro.
On Holly’s flight, arrogant reporter Richard Thornburg becomes suspicious as to why the plane hasn’t landed. He taps into the cockpit communications and records an earlier surreptitious transmission from Barnes to all the circling airplanes describing the situation. In the airplane’s lavatory, he broadcasts the recording live on television, leading to a panic in the airport terminal which prevents McClane and Carmine from getting to the 747. Holly subdues Thornburg with a fellow passenger’s stun gun.
McClane commandeers a news helicopter to fly him to the runway where the 747 plans to take off. He jumps onto the wing of the plane and uses his coat to jam the aileron, preventing the plane from taking off. McClane kills Grant and in the struggle with Stuart, opens the gas reservoir in the wing. When Stuart pushes McClane off the wing, McClane uses a cigarette lighter to ignite the gas trail, exploding the plane and killing everyone on board. The fire trail also serves as a landing guide for all airborne planes, including Holly’s, to land safely.
After McClane and Holly are reunited, Marvin picks them up in his golf cart and drives them away.
The Bonwit Teller department store in New York City is destroyed by a bomb during the morning commute. The New York Police Department gets a call from “Simon” claiming responsibility. He threatens to detonate another unless suspended police officer John McClane is dropped in Harlem, wearing a sandwich board with a racial slur on it. They comply, and McClane is called in.
When the kinds come to Zeus Carver (Samuel L. Jackson) they bring a stolen Casio boombox. Later we will see similar stereo in some foodstore. And Aiwa stereo joins its competitor as well. Besides the stereo we can see Bumble Bee (do not confuse with Transformers) Salmon and the other food brands like Krinos.
Shortly after Zeus helps John we see them both in the police department talking to Simon using AT&T.
Simon blows up a cofferdam, intending to flood the tunnel and drown McClane, but McClane is ejected through an air vent and reunites with Zeus. Surviving a car chase with Simon’s men who had followed Zeus, they find that each driver was carrying enough money to pay for a bridge toll. They sneak aboard a tanker vessel docked in Long Island Sound, but Simon and his crew capture them and place them next to a bomb in the cargo hold.
The school bomb, Simon explains, was a fake intended to distract the police. He broadcasts a message proclaiming his intent to destroy the tanker and scatter the stolen bullion across the bottom of the sound, destabilizing the Western world’s economy. After he leaves, Zeus Carver and McClane free themselves and escape the tanker just before the bomb detonates.
As McClane and Carver are debriefed by the police, McClane reports that none of the bullion was on the tanker, using his knowledge of the Gruber family to deduce that Simon had intended to keep it. While trying to call his estranged wife Holly, McClane glances at a bottle of aspirin given to him by Simon and notes that it was purchased at a truckstop in Quebec on the Canada–U.S. border. McClane, Carver, and the police arrive at a warehouse near the truckstop where Simon and his men are distributing the bullion and planning their escape.
The rest of Simon’s men are captured, while Simon and his girlfriend Katya attempt to escape via helicopter. McClane shoots an overhead power line that falls onto the helicopter, causing it to crash and explode. After celebrating their triumph, Carver persuades McClane to call Holly again.
Responding to a brief computer outage at its Cyber-Security Division by tracking down top computer hackers, the FBI, led by Deputy Director Miguel Bowman (Cliff Curtis), asks NYPD detective John McClane to go to New Jersey to bring in hacker Matthew Farrell (Justin Long). McClane arrives just in time to save him from assassins sent by Mai Linh (Maggie Q), who is Thomas Gabriel’s (Timothy Olyphant) lover and also working with him to carry out his plans.
On the way to D.C., Farrell tells McClane he had written an algorithm for Linh to crack a specific security system for white hat purposes. Meanwhile, Gabriel orders his crew of hackers to take over transportation grids and the stock market, while nationally broadcasting a threatening message to the U.S. government. Farrell realizes this is the start of a “fire sale”, a cyber attack designed to disable the nation’s infrastructure. As McClane and Farrell are driven to FBI headquarters, Linh, posing as a dispatcher, reroutes them into a helicopter ambush. McClane fends off the attackers, destroying the helicopter and all but one of the terrorists.
When the terrorists began to commence their attack, we see that the FBI track this activity using their DELL computers. Later in the movie we will see more DELL branding including their Alienware series.
This movie was released almost same time with the first iPhone, and at that time the smartphones market belonged to my beloved Nokia with their wonderful gadgets. ‘Live Free or Die Hard’ is full of various Nokia phones.
When John and Matthew try to steal the car, we can see that there is a SNICKERS bar in the glove compartment.
When the terrorists try to get hold of the power grid, we can see that the power station is equipped with Sony displays. And Mai tries to hack the station using Palm computers – another great gadget before iOs and Android era.
When Thomas tracks the progress of data upload, we see that one more tech company appears in the movie – LG with their displays.
In one of the final scenes when John is in pursuit, we can see that there is a Uniden Bearcat BCT15 Trunk Tracker III system in his truck.
McClane arrives, killing two of Thomas Gabriel’s men, but he is shot in the shoulder by Gabriel’s last man, Emerson. Gabriel positions himself behind McClane, putting the barrel of the gun in his shoulder wound. McClane then pulls the trigger. The bullet travels through McClane’s shoulder and hits Gabriel in the chest, killing him instantly. Farrell then grabs a handgun and kills Emerson as the FBI arrives. Afterwards, McClane thanks Farrell for saving Lucy’s life.
In Moscow, Viktor Chagarin (Sergey Kolesnikov), a high-ranking, corrupt Russian official, plans to incriminate former billionaire and government whistleblower Yuri Komarov (Sebastian Koch) in a rigged trial unless he hands over a secret file believed to contain evidence incriminating Chagarin. Separately, Jack McClane (Jai Courtney), arrested after an assassination attempt, negotiates for a shorter sentence by offering to testify against Komarov.
Jack’s father, NYPD detective John McClane, who has not been in touch with his son for several years, has learned he is in trouble. His daughter, Lucy (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), drives him to the airport as he flies to Russia to help. As John arrives and approaches the courthouse where Komarov is on trial, a bomb explosion, orchestrated by Chagarin’s henchman Alik (Radivoje Bukvic), occurs in the courthouse, and Jack breaks free with Komarov. Seeing his son, John confronts him, but their dispute is cut short as Alik and his men chase them in an MRAP through Moscow. John, Jack, and Komarov manage to escape.
When John goes to Russia to save his son, of course, he uses Aeroflot.
There they meet up with Komarov’s daughter, Irina, as earlier planned. John grows suspicious of her shifty behavior, and is proven correct when Alik and his men burst in and tie John and Jack up, taking Komarov hostage; Irina confesses to informing on them for the “millions of dollars” to be gained. Jack manages to break free of his ties and the two manage to kill most of the guards present. Alik and Irina, with Komarov still their hostage, return in a Mil Mi-24 attack helicopter and try to kill them, but they escape again.
That night, they steal a car full of weapons, driving to Pripyat, Ukraine, where the safe deposit box with the file is located, only to find that Komarov, Irina, and Alik are already there. In a twist, the file is revealed never to have existed: the safe deposit box with the supposed file is, in fact, a secret passage to a radioactive Chernobyl-era vault containing €1 billion worth of weapons-grade uranium. Once inside, Komarov kills Alik and calls Chagarin to gloat and listen as the latter is killed by one of Komarov’s men.
At this point, John and Jack enter the vault, discover Komarov’s true plot, and capture him, but Irina and some henchmen come to her father’s aid. As they attempt to escape, Jack follows Komarov, while John goes after Irina, who is escaping in a Mil Mi-26 helicopter; he sneaks into the rear compartment. Irina tries to protect her father by firing the helicopter’s guns at Jack, but John is able to bring the helicopter off balance by driving a truck, still shackled by a chain, out of the cargo section via the open rear ramp. Komarov taunts Jack by saying he will get to watch his father die, prompting Jack to hurl him off the rooftop and into the path of the spinning helicopter blades, killing him. John is promptly thrown off the truck and into the building right before the truck’s chain snaps.
As Jack and John reunite inside the building, Irina tries to avenge her father by ramming the helicopter, now out of ammunition, into the building in a suicide attack. John and Jack survive by leaping off the building into a large pool of water as the helicopter crashes and explodes, killing Irina. In the end, the McClanes return home and reunite with Lucy.
And that’s it for Die Hard product placement. Who knows, maybe we will see one more Die Hard movie, and it will be much better than the last one. For now I wish you a very merry Christmas and wonderful year of 2022.
If you love product placement like I do, I highly recommend you to visit Product Placement section of the website. You will find more movies analysed there.