Die Hard 5: John is 85 and in a retirement home. The OAP with the eye-patch and foreign name has hatched a plan to steal more mash potato. The nurse is asleep.
McClane is back.
McClane watches Wolfgang Nudel wheel himself slowly across the brown carpet; new spit and old carrot dry together on the chin of Wolfgang.
Evil intention flickers from his working left eye. A bad war memory he can never forget, but not quite recall, sits between face and eye patch.
The combination of carrot and mash potato has driven Wolfgang over the edge of senility, and into a world full of empty cupboards screaming for skeletons.
Wolfgang has tasted the good life, and cares not for who suffers at the expense of tasting more.
Wolfgang shuffles toward the silver counter for extra carrot; double portions. He walks slowly, his neck higher than his head, his toes suffering from all kinds of arthritis.
Wolfgang’s toes point in so many directions he can’t wear shoes, and the last time he kicked a football it exploded from taking on too much information at once.
McClane disagrees with the philosophy of Wolfgang.
McClane thinks the overall carrot consumption of the individual resident in the home must be governed by a higher power who believes balanced carrot consumption for all, is better than one individual consuming too many carrots.
McClane looks around the quiet room, three old men stare at the television; an old action movie flogged too many times draws their attention. A good film once, now the victim of turning something brilliant into a family franchise.
The elderly audience, three old men with their wise days long behind them, victims now too; everyone caught up in the machine sacrificing original scripts for talent.
Wolfgang is at the counter now, looking down at the carrot and potato mix.
McClane thinks Wolfgang is thinking he’s made it, that nobody is around to stop him alter the harmonious balance of food distribution.
McClane knows he can’t stop Wolfgang on foot or in his current wheelchair.
He won’t get to Wolfgang in time.
McClane needs to take a risk, needs to take the pensioner equivalent of jumping off a skyscraper attached to a hosepipe; needs to jump from a bridge onto a moving boat.
McClane’s pacemaker kicks in.
This is it, his latest action scene.
He thought these days were over.
And, by God, they should have been.
McClane lifts himself up, his old arms wobble; he unsteadily shifts himself from his own chair into the motorized wheelchair next to him.
He’s out of breath, his hands shake, and for a moment he forgets his own name.
McClane, he whispers, McClane.
He should call for backup, but nobody is around.
Nobody ever is. Even the nurses have disappeared.
He remembers some kid telling him that’s what makes him the guy he is; he does the things nobody else would do.
But he thinks the kid was talking about returning a library book.
McClane watches Wolfgang raise his head from the pile of mash potato and carrots.
Thinking about his belly. Thinking about himself and nobody else.
McClane shakes his head, snaps a muscle in his neck as he does, angry all the mash potato and carrots are now contaminated with Wolfgang DNA.
McClane starts the motorized wheelchair and drives toward Wolfgang.
McClane splutters forward.
A bit further.
A bit further still.
He nudges a table.
He moves left.
Then turns the chair back so he’s facing Wolfgang.
Wolfgang picks a piece of carrot from his knee and brings it to his mouth, but because of his poor depth perception, he doesn’t move the carrot far enough toward him and chomps at air.
McClane moves forward and hits a chair.
The chair wobbles and falls, but everybody within earshot is wearing shot ears.
McClane can’t drive over the fallen chair.
He turns right.
Faces Wolfgang, the chair now behind him.
He watches Wolfgang bring his fingers to his face for a second time, only this time Wolfgang over compensates the distance between his mouth and carrot, gets his line all wrong, and pushes the small square piece of carrot into his eyeball.
McClane moves forward.
The tiny noise of a motor whirring spreads across the room.
McClane arrives in his chair behind the standing Wolfgang and reaches up to grab the back of Wolfgang’s neck, but misses, and knocks over a cup of tea which falls into his lap.
Wolfgang looks up, as if sensing something is happening, but is deaf and lacking the mobility to properly check.
McClane reverses, and aims his chair at Wolfgang.
This is McClane’s moment.
He shouts his catchphrase, the phrase he used to shout at terrorists, but can’t quite remember what it is.
So he shouts what he thinks it might have been.
“London night bus!”
Something about the words feel wrong.
McClane moves forward at full speed, but his hands are shaking and he veers off to the right, and into the open door of the staff room.
He tries reversing back out of the room, but hits the edge of the door.
He moves forward slowly.
Turns his chair to the right.
Hits the door.
Move forward again.
Turns his chair to the left.
Hits the door.
Wolfgang finishes the last carrot and dollop of mash potato.
Wolfgang turns and shuffles to the nearest chair, he lowers himself in and closes his eyes.
He falls into a big sleep, like an audience member forced to watch a classic action movie stripped of everything that made it what it was, that was then sold onto Walt Disney for parts.
McClane moves forward and stops.
He can’t remember what he’s doing.
He remembers throwing his wife across a hotel room by her hair, and biting a lump out of his own daughters cheek when he was suffering from his third bought of post-traumatic stress disorder.
He looks down and sees the stain in his lap.
He’s pissed himself, he thinks.
Accidentally turned into the staff room instead of the toilet.
For the third time this week.
A shape kneels down in front of him, the nurse, he’s certain.
He remembers Wolfgang, she can help him, help him stop the enemy.
“Nurse, he’s stealing mash. And carrots.”
The nurse leans in and smiles. Puts a reassuring hand on his shoulder, then whispers:
“Remember what we told you, look inside your wallet when suffering delusions.”
There is a tone in the ladies voice he trusts, a genie from a lamp he never rubbed; he moves a yellow hand into his jean pockets and pulls out an old driving license.
The nurse asks him to read the name on the license.
McClane looks a little confused, but does as she asks.
He remembers a light bulb flashing, and signing his name repeatedly across paper.
He looks at the nurse, holds his open wallet in his hand.
He looks down and reads the stranger’s name on the driving licence.
McClane is confused, the excitement has made him breathless.
He looks back into her eyes and asks:
“Nurse, who the hell is Bruce Willis?”