I love movies like this. I had NEVER EVER seen Die Hard. Simply because I didn’t think I’d like it.
But I’m watching it now…and I love it! Bruce Willis is like a one man army. There’s, what, 12 bad guys and he’s picking them off one by one by one.
I love movies like that. Reminds me of two others like that that I really enjoyed (where just one guy slowly whittles down a huge group of bad guys): Air Force One was a lot like that. So was Cliffhanger.
And The Rock was just like that too…only it had two guys doing it (Sean Connery and Nicolas Cage).
Give me more movies where this happens! Where a person is obviously trapped in a situation or place with many bad guys and yet, in the end, wins based on taking them all out one by one by one.
I know there’s got to be hundreds of them.
There were a lot of movies that were made after Die Hard came out. There were a lot of “Die Hard on a…” type movies involving boats, trains, in schools, and even on a cargo plane with a stealth fighter in it. Die Hard kind of established a sub-genre of action movies.
There’s also Commando where Arnold mows through about 5000 bad guys armed with only Rae Dawn Chong, a heavy machine gun, some gardening tools, and his wits.
Pale Rider ends with Clint Eastwood singling out and picking off the baddies.
I just looked this movie up on Wikipedia to make sure I wasn’t confusing it with High Plains Drifter. The Wiki article was illuminating. All the times I’ve seen Pale Rider, I never noticed all the parallels to Shane. Duh.
I wish I’d seen Die Hard in the theater, but I didn’t because of their stupid ads. The poster said “The odds are 12 to 1 . . . that’s just the way he likes it!” Which sounded pretty stupid. Turns out, the great thing about the character is that he doesn’t like it; almost getting killed twenty times is a huge pain in the ass, and he’d love it if the cavalry could ride in and save the day. But they can’t, so he’s stuck with what is truly a shit job.
And as you expressed, the great thing about his method is its simplicity. No matter what kind of criminal or technical genius the main badguy is, no matter how clever his plan, McClaine’s response is to start killing his henchmen, one by one (or in small groups), until there’s nobody left.
A similar approach is taken in another movie in which Alan Rickman also plays the bad guy: Quigley Down Under.
There’s a scene in Tears of the Sun where a couple of sharpshooters (at least one of them a bona fide sniper, maybe both), start picking off bad guys marauding a village from a distance one by one while the rest of the team moves in to mop up the rest. A few cool shots of bad guys getting aced right before they’re about to kill some random innocent person.
Taken has Liam Neeson killing half the city of Paris one by one while trying to recover his kidnapped daughter.
As for all of the best examples I could think of, they’ve already been called, most notably Air Force One
Huh. I wondered about this: I saw Last Man Standing, then years later read Red Harvest and assumed the former was closely based on the latter. Then I saw LMS again and realized how different (and inferior) it was, but figured there must be a connection.
Payback follows this method, I think, as do any number of computer games.