Posted in Wednesday Warriors

David Dunn

Of all the Wednesday Warriors I’ve written about, David Dunn, the mild-mannered hero of the movie Unbreakable, and today’s highlight, is one of my favorites. If you haven’t seen the film directed by The Sixth Sense director M. Night Shyamalan, then I don’t want to spoil it for you. You can skip to the last paragraph to get the general gist of the film. For everyone else, keep reading.

Bruce Willis as David Dunn
Bruce Willis as David Dunn

A train wreck leaves everyone onboard dead except for David Dunn (Bruce Willis). In fact, he doesn’t only survive, but he walks away from the tragedy without a scratch. Returning home, his wife Audrey (Robin Wright), with whom before the accident he wasn’t getting along, takes her husband’s survival as a sign that their troubled marriage is worth saving.

In another part of Philadelphia, Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson) finds himself reading about the accident and about David’s miraculous event. No one should have survived that crash. No one should have just walked away without a scratch. As with David, there is more to Elijah than anyone knows.

One day, David’s son Joseph (Spencer Treat Clark) retreats in the shadows as his father lifts weights. It’s one of those scenes where the audience is slowly discovering something about David that Joseph is realizing himself. What exactly does Joseph see?

Joseph sees that his dad is not ordinary. Joseph sees his dad is capable of lifting more than anyone could possibly lift. Joseph sees his father as extraordinary.

David Dunn of Unbreakable
David Dunn of Unbreakable

In another scene, David asks Audrey if she remembers the last time he was sick. He comes to the realization that he’s never been sick–not even a sniffle.

On the other hand, at one point or another, Elijah has broken every bone in his body. Sickness follows him wherever he goes. Confined to a wheelchair is something he’d rather not admit to but can’t avoid.

From there, David dons a poncho and wanders the city. In a busy metropolis train station he extends his arms and allows the people to brush his hands. It is then a superhero rises from the devastation his life could have been. No longer does he wander to discover his abilities. He knows who he is. With a poncho acting as his cape, he can rescue those in need. He can give aid. And his life has turned from a helpless victim to that of a strong father figure boys could emulate.

Lastly, every superhero has an arch villain with whom to contend. If David were unbreakable, with neither train wreck nor bomb unable to harm him, then logically, someone who is on the opposite side of the spectrum, breakable, will have to be his archenemy. There is only one person who could fit that description.

As with all superhero origin movies, the character has weaknesses to overcome, strengths to discover and dark demons to fight. In David’s case, there is more to his life than what others may see. He possesses a disturbing curiosity as to how far he can go with his abilities. The critical question, however, is much more personal. How far would we go should we discover we are not who we think we are?

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Have you seen Unbreakable? What do you think of the David and Elijah relationship?

Posted in Wednesday Warriors

John McClane

“When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer.” ~Hans Gruber

Welcome to the first article in the new Wednesday Warriors series where testosterone doesn’t take a day off, and guys wearing their hearts on their sleeves is an anathema. At least in the beginning—I’ll eventually have to talk about American Beauty’s Lester Burnham, but for now, let’s start it off with a bang.

Bruce Willis as John McClane
Bruce Willis as John McClane

John McClane (Bruce Willis) is a practical cop. His no-nonsense approach comes in handy when he visits his wife (Bonnie Bedelia) during her new company’s Christmas party. He just came off the plane with a lump in his throat. He never did like flying. One of the other passengers gives him a coping mechanism: walk around barefoot while curling your toes. Advice that comes in useful later on, yet for now, he can’t even find his wife in the company registry. Not until he searches for her under her maiden name Holly Gennaro does he find her.

John McClane
John McClane

Once at the gathering, the real party starts. Walking around barefoot, enjoying terra firma in his room, a team of terrorists takes over the building and holds the partygoers hostage—including Holly. John makes a mad dash to the upper floors of the building where he’ll plan his response. He must be kidding himself. How could he possibly beat a well-armed squad of killers barefoot? Yes, he didn’t have enough time to put on his shoes when he had the genius idea of leaving the confines of safety.

Which brings us to the inevitable statement the Die Hard series created—John McClane is the wrong guy in the wrong place at the wrong time. Nothing prepared him for what was about to happen next.

Hans Gruber (Harry Potter Professor Severus Snape‘s Alan Rickman), the leader of the terrorist group, sends a hit squad to eliminate their thorn in their side, John McClane (Roy Rogers as John so eloquently introduces himself with the series catchphrase). You probably know what I’m talking about without my repeating the words, of course.

When the supposed terrorists catch up with John, he manages to handle the situation his way—by the end of the barrel of a gun. This prompts the terrorists, who survive John’s onslaught, to march from an elevator while Holly looks on:

Ginny: [Karl smashes a table of glasses in fury] God. That man looks really pissed.
Holly: He’s still alive.
Ginny: What?
Holly: Only John can drive somebody that crazy.

If only the terrorists knew who they were dealing with, they would quickly make a beeline for the exits. This does not happen.

The conclusion sees all of them dead as John McClane emerges soaked in their blood while Beethoven‘s Ode to Joy plays in the background and the building burns to the ground—as with all true 80’s movies.

On a personal note, I don’t think a Christmas has gone by without Die Hard or Die Hard 2 making an appearance during the holidays. They’re that good. And why not? With the protagonist transforming himself into a reluctant hero, what’s not to like? He is a teacher to those who don’t know what to do with a bad situation.

His solution? Make it work.

[Author’s note: In celebration of the new Wednesday Warriors series, I’ve changed the header color to reflect the cool winter season. What’d y’all think?]


What do you like about John McClane? Which Die Hard movie is your favorite?

Posted in Freedom Friday

80’s Movie Quotes

I was watching Commando the other night, not that it’s a movie for the faint of heart but fun nonetheless, and the girl who meets Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character gives him a one-liner that I soon never forgot. Then I realized most of the 80’s movies with Arnie or Sylvester Stallone have an abundant of one-liners no one ought soon to forget.

Arnold Schwarzenegger in Commando
Arnold Schwarzenegger in Commando

So, I thought for this Freedom Friday post, I’d give you my favorite one-liners from 80’s movies and perhaps give you a chance to add in your own favorites. If you’re thinking I’m going to have fun with this post—you’re right! After all, the weekend is right around the corner and it’s the perfect segue to start it off on the humorous side. Don’t you think?

Let’s start it off with…

Commando (1985), starring Arnold Schwarzenegger:

Cindy: Can you tell me what this is all about?
Matrix: Yeah, a guy I trusted for years wants me dead.
Cindy: That’s understandable. I’ve only known you for five minutes and I want you dead, too.

Tango & Cash (1989), starring Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell:

Ray Tango: Do you think he’s telling the truth?
Gabriel Cash: I don’t know. But it’s not raining and he’s standing in a puddle.

Red Heat (1988), starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Belushi:

[To a waitress about to freshen his coffee]
Art Ridzik: Look, lady. I just got my coffee the perfect color. It’s the only thing I’ve got going for me tonight.

Die Hard (1988), starring Bruce Willis:

Holly Gennero McClane: I have a request.
Hans Gruber: What idiot put you in charge?
Holly Gennero McClane: You did. When you murdered my boss. Now everybody’s looking to me. Personally, I’d pass on the job. I don’t enjoy being this close to you.

First Blood (1982), starring Sylvester Stallone:

Teasle: Are you telling me that 200 of our men against your boy is a no-win situation for us?
Trautman: You send that many don’t forget one thing.
Teasle: What?
Trautman: A good supply of body bags.

Aliens (1986), starring Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn and Bill Paxton:

Ripley: Did IQs just drop sharply while I was away?

Rocky IV (1985), starring Sylvester Stallone:

Duke: What’s happening out there?
Rocky: He’s winning… I see three of him out there!
Paulie: Hit the one in the middle.
Duke: Right! Hit the one in the middle.

Technically not from the 80’s, but I couldn’t resist…

Demolition Man (1993), starring Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes:

Lenina Huxley: I have, in fact, perused some newsreels in the Schwarzenegger Library, and the time that you took that car…
John Spartan: Hold it. The Schwarzenegger Library?
Lenina Huxley: Yes. The Schwarzenegger Presidential Library. Wasn’t he an actor when you…?
John Spartan: Stop! He was President?
Lenina Huxley: Yes! Even though he was not born in this country, his popularity at the time caused the 61st Amendment, which states…
John Spartan: I don’t wanna know. President…

And that’s just scratching the surface. I’m sure you can come up with more. What do you think?


What are your favorite movie one-liners?