Our Favourite ‘Die Hard’ Moments

The first Die Hard came out in 1988 and although the role of John McClane was offered to Frank Sinatra and Arnold Schwarzeneggar first, it was Bruce Willis who ultimately accepted the part. The film solidified him as a huge action star, and the franchise went on to produce four sequels. Critical reception has been up and down, but that doesn’t change that Die Hard continuously delivers exactly what an action movie fan is looking for— car chases, explosions, and far-fetched plot lines.

In celebration of the limited edition ‘Nakatomi Plaza: Die Hard Collection’ which hit shelves this week (you can enter to win a Win A ‘Die Hard’ Nakatomi Plaza Blu-Ray Box Set hereBox) we’re taking a look back at some of John McClane’s greatest moments.

'Thanks for the advice"

“Thanks for the advice”
From: Die Hard (1988)

Bruce Willis was a comedic actor before taking his rightful place as John McClane, and he brought his skills with one-liners into the Die Hard franchise. After he attempts to get one of the terrorists who have taken the Nakatomi Plaza hostage to drop his weapon, he ends up retreating under a long wooden table. The terrorist climbs on top of the table, walking along and shooting until there is nowhere left for McClane to go.

As he reloads for the kill shot, the terrorist says “Next time you have a chance to kill someone, don’t hesitate.” McClane, directly underneath him, fires multiple bullets through the table, killing the terrorist before saying, “Thanks for the advice.”

 

Die Hard 2’s one-liners

Die Hard 2’s one-liners
From: Die Hard 2 (1990)

Sequels always have an uphill battle ahead of them, and Die Hard 2 (or Die Harder) is no exception. But instead of taking itself too seriously, it points out how crazy it is that McClane has gotten himself into a situation where he has to fight terrorists, again.

A couple good lines include Major Grant telling McClane that he’s just “the wrong guy at the wrong place at the wrong time” and he replies, “Story of my life.” Later McClane says what everyone is thinking, “I can’t f*cking believe this. Another basement. Another elevator. How can the same shit happen to the same guy twice?”

 

Ejection seat

Ejection seat
From: Die Hard 2 (1990)

John McClane is nothing if not resourceful. While trying to stop a drug lord from escaping the country in a hijacked 747, he finds himself cornered in the cock pit of a plane. It seems like it might be the end of John McClane when a couple live grenades land next to him. But instead of giving up, he straps himself into an ejection seat and pulls the lever seconds before the plane explodes below him. After he makes it to the ground, he’s back to killing mercenaries without a second thought.

 

John McClane’s new partner Zeus

John McClane’s new partner Zeus
From: Die Hard With a Vengeance (1995)

In the first two Die Hard’s John McClane generally worked alone, but in Die Hard With a Vengeance, he has the help of Samuel L. Jackson’s Zeus Carver. Together they have to solve a series of riddles given to them by a mercenary who they later find out is Hans Gruber’s (the villain McClane killed in Die Hard) brother.

In one riddle they have to disarm a bomb by figuring out a way to fill a 5 gallon jug with exactly 4 gallons of water using only that jug and an additional 3 gallon jug. Of course they figure it out with only 5 seconds to spare.

 

McClane vs. a Harrier Jet

McClane vs. a Harrier Jet
From: Live Free or Die Hard (2007)

Being the fourth instalment in the franchise, Live Free or Die Hard had no choice but to step up the action sequences and impossible stunts. When cyber terrorists send a harrier jet to stop McClane once in for all, they find out that he’s not just going to roll over and die. As the jet destroys millions of dollars worth of highway infrastructure, McClane manages to avoid bullets and falling cement by driving a transport truck through it all.

At one point he even jumps onto the back of the plane, and then of course manages to jump off just before it explodes.

 

Hitting a helicopter with his car

Hitting a helicopter with his car
From: Live Free Or Die Hard (2007)

John McClane’s job in Live Free or Die Hard is to protect a computer hacker (played by Justin Long) who is being hunted by a mysterious cyber-terrorist. Needless to say, McClane takes his job very seriously. On their way to FBI headquarters, they are attacked by assassins in an assault helicopter. While safe for the moment in a tunnel, the helicopter is waiting for them, so McClane decides to launch a car over a toll booth and directly into the low hovering helicopter.

His explanation for using a car as a missile to take down a helicopter? “I was out of bullets”

 

McClane teaming up with his son

McClane teaming up with his son
From: A Good Day To Die Hard (2013)

In the fifth instalment of the Die Hard franchise, John heads to Russia to help his son Jack, who he hasn’t seen or spoken to in years. Turns out Jack has been working for the CIA, and together they have to go up against a high-ranking, but corrupt, Russian government official. During the ballroom fight scene, John and Jack are tied up, but of course Jack has a knife which he uses to free himself. Clearly Jack is just as resourceful and seemingly invincible as his father.

At one point John asks, “What’s my thing?” and Jack responds, “Killing bad guys, that’s your thing.” And you can’t forget John McClane’s signature line, which he drops just before he’s going to do something crazy to save his son— “The shit we do for our kids. Yippie Ki-yay, mother f*cker”

Courtney Hardwick

Courtney Hardwick

Courtney Hardwick is a freelance writer based in Toronto. Her work has appeared on AmongMen.com, 29secrets.com, therichest.com, and ELLECanada.com.  When she isn’t writing about relationships, and the best TV shows and books you should really already know about, she is working on her novel. She hopes to have it published by 2025. You can follow her on Twitter @Courtooo.

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