Ever since my all-time favorite action film, "Die Hard," burst onto the scene in 1988, it has influenced dozens of other movies. Everything from "Under Siege" to "Speed" to "The Rock" has been cloned from the Bruce Willis classic - as have three additional adventures starring John McClane. But you might be surprised when you hear the latest film to tip its cap towards Bruno's iconic character.
"Alvin and the Chipmunks"???
"Yeah," confirmed Justin Long, whose character Alvin screams "Yippee-ki-yay, mamasita!" in a chase scene while dodging between villainous security guards. "[20th Century Fox] wanted it. It was the same studio. They thought it would be hilarious to do a little 'Die Hard' reference."
The joke, of course, is that Long played McLane's tech-savvy sidekick in this past summer's "Live Free or Die Hard." Now, the 29-year-old actor is voicing a fast-talking 'munk alongside Jesse McCartney (Theodore) and Matthew Gray Gubler (Simon), as the three CGI cartoons team up alongside a new Dave Seville in the form of Jason Lee. And oddly enough, it was the PG-rated family flick that finally gave Long a chance to deliver McClane's signature line.
"I finally got to say yippee-ki-yay!" he said excitedly. "I didn't get to say it in 'Die Hard,' and I always wanted to. [In 'Live Free'] we shot a version where I said 'Yabba-dabba-doo-motherf-cker!' and I shot a guy ... but they cut it out. Oddly. Surprisingly, they didn't use it."
The omission of the four-syllable, profane kicker at the end of McLane's statement might seem like heresy in the eyes of "Die Hard" fans who are, well, die hard. But, according to Long, Willis doesn't mind the family-friendly insertion of "mamasita".
"I told [Willis we were doing it]; I don't think he knew," explained Long, doing an imitation of the A-lister. "He said 'Chipmunks, huh? It's a movie? Really? There is a movie about what?' That part didn't really register."
Regardless, Bruce can now buy his own "Chipmunks" ticket, and enjoy what might just be the most random homage he's ever received. "It's very cool," Long said of the line.