It's difficult to decide which badass has the better résumé in this matchup. Do you go with the man who took a plane out of the sky using his lighter and a trail of gasoline, or the guy who blew up every financial building in downtown Los Angeles, and watched it all with his girlfriend like they were at a fireworks show? The quintessential 'scrappy white guy' battle of Round 1, no matter the winner, we predict a riot, and a whole lot of stuff getting blow'd up.
Bruce Willis, "Die Hard"
He’s the fly in the ointment, the monkey in the wrench, and the pain in the ass of terrorists everywhere, yet police officer John McClane’s always asking himself, “How the fuck did you get into this shit?” First, he’s at the top of Nakatomi Plaza, taking down Germans one by one, either with his trusty Beretta or…ho, ho, ho…a machine gun; the next, he’s battling a rogue Army officer and has to blow up a plane to stop the guy. What does a guy like that do for an encore? Why, save New York City from being blown sky-high, of course.
Definitive badass moment:
While pretending to laugh at Hans Gruber’s awful German pronunciation of the phrase, “Yippee-ki-yay, motherfucker,” McClane whips out the gun he’d strapped to his back with Christmas wrapping tape, shoots Hans, then nails Gruber’s henchman right in the forehead for good measure. “Happy trails, Hans,” smirks McClane.
Classic badass line: “Motherfucker, I'm gonna kill you, I'm gonna fuckin' cook you, and I'm gonna fuckin' eat you!”
Occupation: Former cop
Strengths: A modern-day cowboy who packs a Beretta instead of a six- shooter
Weaknesses: Prone to spontaneous maneuvers that don’t always work out as he’s intended
Ed Norton, "Fight Club"
The man formed an underground army consisting of working stiffs, united for the purpose of destroying the class system…and had no idea that he had even done it. Granted, Tyler Durden is arguably the scrawniest badass in our bracket, but like Keyser Soze, he has the will to do what his opponent wouldn’t even think about, and that gives him an immeasurable edge. Case in point: he managed to get himself fired from his job with pay for beating himself up in his boss’ office. Oh, and the punishment for losing faith in the cause: castration. Duuuuuuuude.
Definitive badass moment: When he shot himself through the cheek (and refused medical help afterwards) in order to kill his much stronger alter ego.
Classic badass line: “You're going to call off your rigorous investigation. You're going to publicly state that there is no underground group. Or... these guys are going to take your balls. They're going to send one to the New York Times, one to the LA Times, press-release style. Look, the people you are after are the people you depend on. We cook your meals, we haul your trash, we connect your calls, we drive your ambulances. We guard you while you sleep. Do not...fuck with us.”
Strengths: Can take a punch
Weaknesses: Is the figment of someone’s imagination