Only now does it occur to me... that the Willis vs. Schwarzenegger "rivalry" runs deeper than the EXPENDABLES.
I've followed the semi-fictitious "rivalries" between action stars on this site such as "Bronson vs. Eastwood" and "Schwarzenegger vs. Stallone," rivalries that pop up probably due to the actors being up for the same roles and generally expressing themselves in onscreen, good-natured ribbing and obscure references for the benefit of the diehards (no pun intended). Being as they'd never really taken the spotlight together, I assumed that the Schwarzenegger vs. Willis jocularity in EXPENDABLES 1 & 2 was manufactured for the series, and befit their "major star in bit part" pairing. Now, that I stand back and look at it from afar, it seems this "feud" has been brewing for years.
I got to thinking, and began to wonder– John McTiernan made DIE HARD and THE LAST ACTION HERO. Willis had even worked with Shane Black's writing before on THE LAST BOY SCOUT. Was Willis jealous that he wasn't 'the Last Action Hero?' And afterward, when its financial losses became apparent, was Schwarzenegger peeved that it hadn't been Willis in the role? Did Willis gloat? That seems like something he would do. Did Schwarzenegger mock him for his "Bruno" musical career and those Seagram's Golden Wine Coolers ads? The possibilities are endless. Of course, that's just speculation. But look at this:
Willis, Schwarzenegger, and Stallone appearing together on British television in 1993. Notable for their spectacular 1993 fashions (for instance, Stallone's Planet Hollywood baggy stonewashed jean vest and Schwarzenegger's Hawaiian shirt that proves that he's actually playing 'himself' in TWINS),
Willis' clear but thinly veiled distaste for the host (Terry Wogan),
Stallone's insistence that he does not deliver one-liners well (ask COBRA about that!), the special presumably drunken appearance by Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith,
Wogan's creepy request that Willis show off his left breast
as well as Wogan forcing him to awkwardly talk about INDECENT PROPOSAL in terms of Demi Moore and his personal life, and finally the simultaneously childlike and depraved way Arnold's eyes light up when INDECENT PROPOSAL is discussed, as if the idea of asking a woman to sleep with him for a million dollars is just then hatching in his mind.
In short, this is magnificent.
Anyway, now knowing that their friendship and rivalry has existed for many years, that brings me to the actual point of this entry. Which is that in LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD, Bruce Willis (while protecting Justin Long from the bad guys)
takes out a TERMINATOR (figurine) as collateral damage and smirks about it! If that ain't a shot across the bow, I don't know what is!
As a side note, I only rewatched LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD (4) in order to pump myself up for seeing A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD (5) in theaters. Though not horrible, seeing DIE HARD 4 again sufficiently disheartened me to the extent that I think I'm gonna wait on 5 for DVD. Ah, well.