Die Hard Collection Die Hard: John McClanes 10 Best Allies


February 14, 2013 is not only Valentine’s Day, but the release date of the fifth John McClane adventure, A Good Day to Die Hard, which sees Bruce Willis’ rugged NYPD detective team up with his son Jack (Jai Courtney) to save the day.

For long-time fans of the franchise, and newcomers looking for a solid Bruce Willis action movie, A Good Day to Die Hard is a letdown (read our review), so let’s look back on the four films that came before throughout the 25 years of Die Hard history, and pay respect to McClane’s unlikely allies over the years.

Die Hard Sgt Al Powell Die Hard: John McClanes 10 Best Allies


Name: Sgt. Al Powell
Actor: Reginald VelJohnson
Appearances: Die Hard (1988), Die Hard 2 (1990)

Powell, a lover of twinkies, was in the wrong place at the wrong time and happened to be the officer on duty called in to check on a call from Nakatomi Plaza. Thinking it was a false alarm, Powell was on his way out until McClane caught his attention by dropping a body on his car. From the on, Powell became McClane’s “partner” and the only law enforcement officer surrounding the building that he could trust.

VelJohnson made a cameo appearance in the sequel when McClane faxes him fingerprints to look up in the system, launching forward the plot of Die Hard 2 when they confirm McClane’s suspicions by discovering the prints are from a military office reportedly killed in action years prior.

Die Hard Argyle Devoreaux White Die Hard: John McClanes 10 Best Allies


Name: Argyle
Actor: De’voreaux White
Appearances: Die Hard (1988)

On his first day on the job as a limo driver, Argyle picks up McClane at LAX and brings him to Nakatomi Plaza, offering to wait in the garage for to see if he needs a ride (if he can’t get one from his wife). While partying it up with a big teddy bear in the limo, Argyle eventually learns through the news that the building is under attack and notices the terrorists loading up the ambulance. In a heroic gesture, he crashes his limo into the escape vehicle, and punches out the driver.

Die Hard Bonnie Bedelia Holly Gennaro McClane Die Hard: John McClanes 10 Best Allies


Name: Holly Gennaro McClane
Actor: Bonnie Bedelia
Appearances: Die Hard (1988), Die Hard 2 (1990)

Holly moved to LA for a better career and took the kids with her, while John stayed in New York, not able to pry himself away from his NYPD duties. With their relationship in trouble, McClane travels to LA for Christmas and ends up at Nakatomi Plaza where Holly works, and where Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) just so happens to be engaging in a heist, with Holly as one of the hostages.

Holly remains calm and collected during the hostage situation, knowing her husband is the mysterious man in the building thwarting Gruber’s plans. In the sequel, Holly is on one of the planes attempting to land at the hijacked Dulles International Airport, and still manages to do some good.

Die Hard 2 Marvin Tom Bower Die Hard: John McClanes 10 Best Allies


Name: Marvin
Actor: Tom Bower
Appearances: Die Hard 2 (1990)

As the janitor of Dulles International Airport, Marvin became McClane’s most important ally and source of intel in Die Hard 2, providing a radio used by Colonel Stuart’s villainous team of ex-military officers, maps, blueprints of the airport – and even transportation.

In a story where McClane found out harshly there were few people he could count on, Marvin was one of the few he could trust.

Die Hard 2 Barnes Art Evans Die Hard: John McClanes 10 Best Allies


Name: Leslie Barnes
Actor: Art Evans
Appearances: Die Hard 2 (1990)

Like Marvin, Barnes is an employee of IAD, serving as its chief engineer and chief of communications. Quick on his feet and good at his job, Barnes acted upon a few of his own ideas to counter Colonel Stuart’s plans and communicate with the planes above looking to land. Barnes is one of the few people who listens to McClane, and after saving each other, Barnes lends a helping hand (and his winter coat) to McClane, to try and stop a plane from crashing.

Barnes also discovers the general location of where Stuart and his men are operating, and after investigating with McClane, locates the church where they’ve set up their own makeshift control tower.

Die Hard 3 Samuel L Jackson Die Hard: John McClanes 10 Best Allies


Name: Zeus Carver
Actor: Samuel L. Jackson
Appearances: Die Hard: With a Vengeance (1995)

Zeus is a genius shopkeeper who just so happens to see John McClane across the street caught in a dangerous situation. After taking it upon himself to defuse the situation, Zeus unwittingly gets pulled into a plot against New York orchestrated by Simon Gruber (Jeremy Irons), who holds a personal grudge against McClane for killing his brother Hans in the original Die Hard.

Constantly bickering and arguing over race, the two become the unlikeliest of partners, learning to trust each other after Gruber demands “The Samaritan” play his games along with McClane in an adventure across the city.

Die Hard 3 Fred Schiller Stephen Pearlman Die Hard: John McClanes 10 Best Allies


Name: Dr. Fred Schiller
Actor: Stephen Pearlman
Appearances: Die Hard: With a Vengeance (1995)

Department psychologist Schiller has a smaller role to play in Die Hard 3, but like Sgt. Al Powell in Die Hard 2, is instrumental in informing McClane about “Simon” and his intentions. He reveals that Simon (who we later learn is Simon Gruber) isn’t interested in negotiating and has a personal score to settle with McClane.

Die Hard 3 Charlie Weiss Kevin Chamberlin Die Hard: John McClanes 10 Best Allies


Name: Charles Weiss
Actor: Kevin Chamberlin
Appearances: Die Hard: With a Vengeance (1995)

After the first of Simon Gruber’s attacks forces the NYPD to put McClane back into action, it’s the quarky, yet brilliant and brave Charlie Weiss, department bomb defuser, who informs them (and demonstrates) just how the liquid-based explosives function (which later comes in handy for McClane while saving Zeus).

Later, after Simon threatens the city with a bomb in one of the schools and the NYPD locate it, Weiss tells the team he shouldn’t even be attempting to touch the device, but after discovering that there are children still inside that school, he refuses to leave and attempts to disarm the weapon. Weiss is a hero in his own right – though the bomb is just a dud.

Die Hard 4 Hacker Justin Long Die Hard: John McClanes 10 Best Allies


Name: Matthew ‘Matt’ Farrell
Actor: Justin Long
Appearances: Live Free or Die Hard (2007)

Participating in what he thought was a security test, hacker Matt Farrell unknowingly helped out cyber-terrorists who in turn attempt to kill him – until John McClane saved him in the nick of time. Matt informs McClane and the FBI that what’s happening to the city is a “Fire Sale” (a widespread cyber-attack).

In the events that follow, Matt serves as the brains behind McClane, recognizing one of the terrorist’s voices impersonating the police dispatcher, helping McClane steal a car and retake a power station, knocking a bad guy down an elevator shaft, helping ID the terrorist leader Thomas Gabriel, and introducing McClane to the Warlock – who can help locate Gabriel. He later takes a bullet himself and shoots somebody to save McClane and his daughter, Lucy.

Die Hard 4 Warlock Kevin Smith Die Hard: John McClanes 10 Best Allies


Name: Frederick ‘Warlock’ Kaludis
Actor: Kevin Smith
Appearances: Live Free or Die Hard (2007)

Even geekier and smarter than Matt, The Warlock’s basement (in his mom’s house) doubles as a tech center as much as it does a display room of geeky collectibles. When the power goes out along the East coast, the Warlock’s house stays up thanks to Warlock’s own power generators, and he’s able to (reluctantly) help Matt and McClane out in locating Thomas Gabriel.

During the big climactic action sequence, McClane calls upon Warlock’s help again to call in FBI reinforcements – and even though he doesn’t get involved (especially with the FBI), Warlock still helps McClane save his daughter, showing that he has a good heart.

Die Hard 25th Anniversary Blu ray Collection Die Hard: John McClanes 10 Best Allies


Looking to enjoy the best parts of the Die Hard franchise on Valentine’s Day? Perhaps you need a last minute gift? It’s an easy recommendation to check out the four films that established John McClane as the everyday man-turned-hero before (instead of?) rushing out to see A Good Day to Die Hard.

Check out the 5-disc Die Hard 25th Anniversary Blu-ray collection, and McClane and friends in action. Bruce Willis will be in theaters again in March for other franchise sequels G.I. Joe: Retaliation, in August for RED 2, and in October for Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes

A Good Day To Die Hard is in theaters now.