Film and TV

Clash of the '80s Action Icons: Martin Riggs vs. John McClane

Last weekend, for the umpteenth time, I found myself watching Die Hard again. Perhaps it's a function of my advancing age, but even with the embarrassment of occasional riches available to me on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and On Demand, I still take comfort in watching Bruce Willis shoot Marco in the groin.

That rewatch came on the heels (well, a few weeks or so) of my checking out Lethal Weapon 2 again for the first time in years. And as John McClane worked his way through Nakatomi Plaza, eventually dropping Severus Snape out a window, I found myself wondering how he'd stack up, action hero wise, vs. Martin Riggs, the detective sergeant played by Mel Gibson in the LW series.

For purposes of this comparison, we'll be looking at the first three films in each series (Lethal Weapon 1-3, and Die Hard, Die Hard 2, Die Hard with a Vengeance), because the later entries in each franchise are unbearable shitshows.

And honestly, Lethal Weapon 3 kind of is, too.

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Peter Vonder Haar writes movie reviews for the Houston Press and the occasional book. The first three novels in the "Clarke & Clarke Mysteries" - Lucky Town, Point Blank, and Empty Sky - are out now.
Contact: Pete Vonder Haar