Monday, January 25, 2021

The Die Hard 3 reference in Pixar's The Incredibles

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In Die Hard 3, Zeus and John McClane (Willis) are charged with answering a payphone to stop an explosion from destroying the New York City subway. Zeus goes for the phone, while McClane looks for the bomb. Unfortunately, there's a man using the payphone, so Zeus intimidates him into leaving it. This attracts a police officer, and leads to a tense standoff during which Zeus tries to slowly answer the now-ringing phone with the officer's gun trained on him. “I have to answer that phone,” Jackson says carefully.

Then, in The Incredibles, when Frozone and Mr. Incredible intercept a robbery, they end up looking like the ones committing the crime. The police show up and aim their guns at the pair. Frozone sees a water cooler to the side and slowly grabs a cup of water, sipping it so he can use his ice powers to get them out of the situation. “I'm just getting a drink,” Frozone says in a similar slow, careful cadence reminiscent of Zeus in Die Hard 3. The similarity between the two scenes is highlighted by the police officer: The Pixar cop looks just like the one in Die Hard 3, and he has the same nervous energy that makes it seem like he's a second away from pulling the trigger.

Die Hard with a Vengeance actually referenced another film with Jackson and Willis, Pulp Fiction, in a line of McClane's dialogue, so this Easter egg is actually more of an Easter onion, considering all its many layers to discover. Peel them back for yourself during your next screening of The Incredibles.

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