Study Guide

Die Hard Violence

Violence

GRUBER: I wanted this to be professional. Efficient, adult, cooperative. Not a lot to ask. Alas, your Mr. Takagi did not see it that way, so he won't be joining us for the rest of his life.

Well that's… tacky. Gruber talks about the fact that he blew Takagi away at point-blank range as if the old executive just missed an appointment. The dry, calm, and coy way in which Gruber relays this tells us that this is not a man who cares about how much pain he causes. He's pretty cavalier about the whole "I just killed a guy" thing.

MARCO: You are done. No more table. Where are you going, pal? Next time you have the chance to kill someone, don't hesitate.

MCCLANE: Thanks for the advice.

Wisecracking McClane strikes again. He's just killed a guy, and he's already dropping snarky comments. Does this trivialize the death that's just occurred? Or do we even care, because we're so invested in McClane's survival?

MCCLANE: Hans, you motherf***er, you made your point. Let 'em pull back!

GRUBER: Thank you, Mr. Cowboy, I'll take it under advisement. Hit it again.

McClane follows some resemblance of a code, so he reprimands Hans for his excessive firing and violence. Hans, the macho dude that he is sarcastically responds by calling him, "Mr. Cowboy."

MCCLANE: You shoulda heard your brother squeal when I broke his f***ing neck!

As he's beating Karl senseless, having finally gained the upper hand in their brawl, McClane taunts him with this rather crass remark. To be fair, he's pretty angry about the fact that Karl has been trying to kill him for several hours straight. But still, does this line go a bit too far? It's certainly a darker side of McClane, that's for sure.

MCCLANE: Motherf***er, I'm gonna kill you. I'm gonna f***ing cook you, and I'm gonna f***ing eat you!

If you thought McClane was mad earlier in this brawl-with-Karl scene, well, now he's really cooking. Here, McClane gives voice to the many violent impulses that have peppered the movie. The calculated violence of Gruber's group turned to passionate feelings of revenge in Karl, and now that desire for revenge has made its way to McClane, too.

AGENT JOHNSON: What do you figure the breakage?

SPECIAL AGENT JOHNSON: Figure we take out the terrorists, lose 20, 25% of the hostages, tops.

AGENT JOHNSON: I can live with that.

Well, Shmoop can't. These sound like terrible odds, don't they. This line reminds us that these FBI agents are perhaps a little too accustomed to violence. In fact, they seem pretty eager for it.

SPECIAL AGENT JOHNSON: Just like f***in' Saigon, eh Slick?!

AGENT JOHNSON: I was in junior high, dickhead.

Check out the different ways in which the two agents Johnson (no relation) react to the attack-on-the-roof scenario. Special Agent Johnson—the older one—is thrilled to see some action, gleefully comparing it to the Vietnam War (which doesn't sound like a very appealing comparison, if you ask Shmoop). The younger one, with a detached expression on his face, just chuckles. Neither man seems too somber about the fact that they're heading into a situation in which innocent people might die. Desensitization much?

RICHARD THORNBURG: Mr. McClane! Mr. McClane! Now that it's all over, after this incredible ordeal, what are your feelings?

This is the moment Thornburg receives one heck of a right hook from our girl Holly. It's the single act of violence committed by a woman in the movie, and it's more of a Mama Bear moment than anything else. What do you think—was Holly's punch justified?

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