Could John McClane, the every-man hero that won the day in Die Hard, have a chance in a different culture? Could a balding man anywhere be a dashing hero? Well in my opinion, yes. So to begin, let’s talk about the two things we’re about to mash together for better of worse.
So first off, you’ve got Die Hard, a classic action movie from the 80s which launched Bruce Willis’ career as an action hero as John McClane, the (almost) ‘Average Joe’ action hero who single handily takes down a meticulously organised gang of crooks.
Then, we’ve got Tokusatsu, a genre of Japanese TV and film with practical effects and superheroes. Examples of this include Super Sentai (known as Power Rangers in the West), and Godzilla (the practical effect come from an actor in a monster suit).
Now we come to gooey caramel centre of this piece: let me talk to you about a Die Hard done like a Tokusatsu movie.
So where do we begin? Let’s start with our superhero, John McClane. In this Tokusatsu version, our every-man is a Japanese-style superhero, like Kamen Rider. He can transform into a whacky colourful costume, usually, with heroes like Kamen Rider, they use some kind of device to transform, or “henshin”, like wrist gauntlet or a belt.
In this case, it’s a henshin vest, as a cheeky nod to the vest McClane wears during the film. So our Tokusatsu John, is an average detective in the Science Police (a reference to Ultraman) who is a superhero with bare monster feet. He travels to see his girlfriend (in this case) at her fancy office building for her Christmas party, but she’s a little upset with him from some sort of slapstick misunderstanding. At the party, they squabble a little bit, but little do they know, things are about to go a bit wrong.
The building is besieged by a gang of alien conquerors invading the building looking for advanced technology… Or that’s what they want you to think. These aliens, are the kind of rubber suit terrors you find in shows like Power Rangers, each with their own formidable power.
They employ technology to lock off the building and unleash a distraction downtown in the form of a giant mecha-creature of some sort. That way the authorities won’t come calling, except for one demoted and demotivated patrolmen racked from guilt for using his laser blaster to accidentally shot a good alien.
Tokusatsu powers up using his henshin vest and does battle with these monsters in the style of the original movie using simple methods do away with bad guys using everyday objects, along with the occasional bad ass hand to hand combat battle and of course the help from down on his luck cop outside.
John eventually uncovers the true motive of the criminals who are not aliens preparing the Earth for invasion, but common crooks that have been given super powers simply robbing the building of anything valuable.
Our finale takes place on the roof, where they planned to escape all along. With Tokusatsu, Hans Gruber (the lead baddie from Die Hard, played Alan Rickman) taking John’s girlfriend hostage. Outnumbered with most of team downed by John, Tokusatsu Hans uses a black market drug to turn himself gigantic.
After a long battle downtown, the Science Police are turning up. John and girlfriend eventually use a fire hose to trip up the giant bad guy and he falls to his death.
Down on the ground, we’ll finish with a familiar ending. John and his girlfriend and the other hostages are being taken care off by the Science Police just when a forgotten bad guy comes for a final attack and is vaporised by the cop who lost his mojo.
End with a romantic scene and boom. The end.