With the overly-bromantic release of the fifth instalment of the Die Hard franchise looming large (Valentine’s Day, no less) I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to go back at pick out some of my favourite moments from the first four films. Seeing as we’re celebrating the fifth film I thought I’d keep the list at five too and there is some bonus Die Hard as well for the uhhhhh, die hards. So here, in no particular order are my five favourite moments from the Die Hard series: 1. Bringing down a plane with a cigarette lighter and turning said plane into landing lights for other planes from Die Hard 2
- This is a wicked scene and one that I remember watching when I was much younger, which is possibly why it makes its way onto my top five moments. Let’s just ignore all the people that asked logical questions about this, such as whether the fuel would actually have ignited on the snow. Who cares, it is a film and one that is way too enjoyable to worry about such logistics, just enjoy the explosions and the swearing. It’s also where you’ll hear the catchphrase that became synonymous with the series. Yippee-kai-ay mother-effer!
2. The Sandwich Board from Die Hard With A Vengeance
- This one is in here more for the unease and suspense than the action, but when John McClane is forced by Simon Peter Gruber (played by Jeremy Irons, and also the brother to the first film’s villain Hans Gruber, played by Alan Rickman) to be dropped in Harlem, New York wearing a sandwich board that displays a particularly offensive statement you all but wait for the inevitable. Everyone knows what it says on the board so there is no reason to repeat it, but my favourite part of this scene is the exchange between McClane and Zeus (Samuel L. Jackson) leading to Zeus to exclaim to McClane ‘you are about to have a very bad day’, to which McClane replies ‘tell me about it’.
3. Surviving total destruction of a subway station in Die Hard With A Vengeance
- We all know that John McClane is a bad ass, but the way he saves lives by finding and then discarding the subway bomb is pure class. It is also preceded by the awesome Taxi driving scene, which sees McClane and Zeus burning through parks before calling in an ambulance to tail all the way to Wall Street. McClane proceeds to climb into the subway train, find the bomb and fling it out of the window. Seconds, if not milliseconds later the train passes over the detonation switch that has been laid in place detonating the bomb and although not causing the destruction intended, it does pretty destroy an entire subway station. Of course, McClane survives.
4. Cop Car Meets Helicopter from Die Hard 4.0
- Taking the plane / cigarette lighter idea and running with it, McClane outdoes himself again in Live Free or Die Hard (Die Hard 4.0) when he manages to use a Taxi to take out a helicopter. That’s right; HE TAKES A HELICOPER OUT OF THE SKY USING A CAR! Matt Farrell (Justin Long) can’t quite believe it, and nor could I! This is all before he takes on the JET on a highway as well. The fourth chapter of the Die Hard series really goes for it!
5. The roof explosion scene in Die Hard
- My fifth and final choice comes from the first Die Hard, and one that most people see as the best of the bunch. While the lead up to this scene is also great and classic Die Hard, it the explosion itself and that fact that McClane jumps from the roof of the 35-storey building as it explodes, tied to nothing else but a fire hose!! Proof, although not needed at all that McClane was to be a real force to be reckoned with!
Also, here is a bonus Die Hard list, my top five one-liners. I quickly realised I couldn't do a Die Hard list that didn't include some of those cracking one liners: Bonus: Top 5 one-liners 1. John McClane via Hans Gruber: "Ho ho ho, now I have a machine gun..." (Die Hard)
- Hans reads this message out that has been scrawled on the chest of a dead victim and then sent down to his floor, courtesy of McClane
2. McClane: Now I know what a TV dinner feels like (Die Hard)
- John fires off this clever one liner when he is crawling through the ventilation shafts in the bank building
3. Inspector Cobb: Have you been drinking? McClane: Not since this morning! (Die Hard with a Vengence)
- Not much to this one, it’s just funny!
4. McClane: I was working on a nice fat suspension, smoking cigarettes and watching Captain Kangaroo (Die Hard with a Vengeance)
- Another clever line, but in an altogether different way. This is McClane’s response to a question about his suspension from the police force. Most of you will know that Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson worked together on Pulp Fiction, and in this film Bruce Willis’ character sings along to Flowers on the Wall by The Statler Brothers, which features the immortal line ‘smoking cigarettes and watching Captain Kangaroo’. So there you go, clever. Just like I told you.
5. McClane: Yippee-kai-ay motherfucker! (All of them)
- The original, the classic, the iconic catchphrase from the Die Hard franchise, and one that you’ve uttered yourselves, numerous times! It’s in each of the first four films, and no doubt there will be outrage if it doesn’t make an appearance in A Good Day to Die Hard
A Good Day to Die Hard is in cinemas February 14th, Yippee-kai-ay Mother Russia!