Mano-A-Mano: John McClane vs. Karl – Die Hard (1988)

While I was on vacation recently Die Hard was on TV and any time I see it I have to watch it all the way through; it wasn’t even cut so we got all the swearing and no “Yippee-Ki-Yay, Melon Farmer”.

I’d forgotten how much I love the fight scene between John McClane and Karl. The tension between both characters has been building up throughout the movie, and it’s clear that these two are not going to let each other go easily. Karl is a formidable opponent and when McClane kills Karl’s brother he vows revenge.

When the fight finally begins, it’s an all-out brawl; McClane uses everything at his disposal, from punches to chairs, in an effort to take down Karl. You can feel the rage jumping off the screen and I particularly enjoy McClane’s mocking “You should have heard your brother squeal when I broke his fucking neck!” McClane is also arguably more crazy than Karl which is a nice touch.

Although it’s important for Al’s arc at the end I do hate that Karl shows up again after being hung. This was very much a trope at the time where the villain can never die just once.