May 1, 2013
Die Hard: The Gay Connection
McClane is in radio contact with the portly African-American sergeant Al Powell (Reginald VelJohnson), the only LAPD officer who believes his story. They chat, joke, and rather openly flirt with each other, and when the crisis is resolved, McClane leaves his wife to rush into Powell's arms. A homoromantic hug capstones the movie. The primary emotional bond in Die Hard (1988) is not between McClane and Holly, estranged or not, but between McClane and Powell.
But that's not all.
When the crisis is resolved, Carver continues to stick around. In spite of the obligatory reconciliation with the again-estranged Holly (this time in the form of a telephone call), the primary emotional bond is between McClane and Carver.
4 installments, four homoromantic buddy-bonds, 3 with African-Americans.
Why? Bruce Willis is no gay ally, and directors John McTiernan, Renny Harlan, and Len Wiseman are not known for their gay-positive filmmaking.
But many recent buddy movies, aware of the possibility of gay subtext, pair a white man-mountain with a soft African-American comic relief character, hoping that because the relationship is interracial, no one will "read" it as romantic. And Matt Farrell? Maybe they thought that the 23-year age difference between Justin Long and Bruce Willis would make people "read" them as father-son figures, not older-younger boyfriends.
It didn't work.