Top 10

January 31, 2013

10 of the Best: John McClane Beatdowns

To celebrate the upcoming release of A Good Day to Die Hard, it’s time to reflect on what McClane does best… committing casual acts of brutality on his opponents.

So here are 10 of my personal favourite McClane ass kickings.




1. Hans Gruber falling from the rooftop (Die Hard); although not brutal, the way it’s shot is fantastic as it isn’t a blue screen; Alan Rickman I believe was on a wire which prevented him from falling. It is an extremely satisfying finale to the greatest action movie of all time.

2. The Door beating (Die Hard with a Vengeance): This is McClane at his most vicious; during the final sequence on the boat, a henchman is coming through a door only for it to be slammed repeatedly on him until he’s dead. Hey buddy, are you alright?

3. Death by icicle (Die Hard 2): Yes that’s not a typo, McClane is fighting a goon in the snow, things are not going well for our hero so he grabs the nearest object, which just so happens to be an icicle and stabs the bad guy to death. Umm Yaay?

4. “I’ve got enough friends!” (Die Hard 2): Our hero is once again getting his ass kicked, but fuelled by his survival instinct he punches the bad guy off the wing of the plane and is sucked into the plane engines. Happiness does not ensue.

5. “You should’ve heard your brother squeal when I broke his f**kin neck!” (Die Hard): McClane vs. Karl is a fight scene for the ages; the sheer rage on display emanates off the screen and it’s arguably the most brutal fight scene of the series.

6. McClane vs. Tony: After Tony promises “I won’t hurt you” McClane realises his new friend just might be lying and has an epic battle resulting in them falling down the stairs and Tony getting his neck broken. To add insult to injury Tony has feet smaller than McClane’s sister.

7. “F**k You, B**ch!” (Live Free or Die Hard): Although the fight scene was in the theatrical release, the unrated version of this scene is better because of McClane shouting that response as he drives a car into Maggie Q’s villain and drops her down an elevator shaft.

8. “What were last night’s lottery numbers?” (Die Hard with a Vengeance): The scene begins calmly enough as McClane enters an elevator with several of Simon Gruber’s goons; the game is given away when one of them is wearing the badge of one of McClane’s friends who would always use his badge number for the lottery. McClane asks the question and when the goons all look bemused he takes out his gun and blows them all away.

9. “Nicht Schiessen!” (Die Hard with a Vengeance): When one of Simon Gruber’s henchmen discovers there’s no gold on the boat, he realises he’s been screwed. He bumps into McClane and screams “nicht schiessen”. McClane shoots him and asks “What was that?” then gets his ass kicked by another bad guy for a while. This scene is one of the most disturbing of the series because McClane essentially murders an unarmed man.

10. “Thanks for the advice!” (Die Hard): McClane is under fire and a goon is on top of a table while McClane struggles underneath. “Next time you have a chance to shoot someone, take it”. McClane unloads a clip and then utters the classic line.



About the Author

Eoin Friel
Eoin Friel
I grew up watching JCVD, Sly and Arnold destroy bad guys, blow things up and spew one-liners like it's a fashion statement. Action is everything I go to the movies for and the reason I came up with this site is to share my love for the genre with everyone.



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