Movie guide to fighting terrorism

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Nakatomi, Baby: John McClane performs another textbook terrorist takedown
Nakatomi, Baby: John McClane performs another textbook terrorist takedown

Terror, they say, never sleeps, but we imagine any potential threats to world peace might be suffering a few restless nights with A Good Day To Die Hard currently in cinemas. John McClane is the perfect role model for any of us who hope to take up a career in bringing down evildoers, so without further ado, here's a list of dos and don'ts in combating global terror using examples from cinema's champions of peace. Remember: don't try defeating terror without adult supervision.

 

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Fighting terrorism is probably getting a bit tiresome for John McClane by now. After all, across four movies everyone's favourite vest-wearing, yippee-kay-aying cowboy cop has fought German terrorists (Die Hard), rogue army commandos (Die Hard 2), the disgruntled siblings of German terrorists (Die Hard With A Vengeance) and a bunch of smarmy cyber criminals (Die Hard 4.0). It's no wonder then that Bruce Willis' ageing actioneer has called in an extra pair of hands for Live Free Or Die Hard, recruiting his son into the family business of dodging death, beating up bad guys and spouting pithy one-liners at ironically opportune moments.

 

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Whether you're fighting crime, supervillains or international terrorists, a secret identity is probably a good idea. Aside from dodging the paparazzi it's a good way of keeping your loved ones out of harm's way. Just ask Arnie, who carefully concealed his identity from his family in True Lies, only to have his cover blown and his daughter kidnapped by the villainous Crimson Jihad. Fortunately for Arnie he arrived in the nick of time and saved the day, thanks in no small part to his daughter's deviousness.

 

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If movies have taught us anything it's that when it comes to fighting terrorism, clandestine government organisations and international intelligence agencies are no match for one-man armies. Don't believe us? Just look at Steven Seagal in Under Siege, Arnold Schwarzenegger in Commando or perhaps the granddaddy of them all: Sly Stallone in Rambo: First Blood Part II

 

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Imagine you have no military training yet need to become a super soldier in a short space of time; how are you going to go from zero to hero in order to save the day? You need a montage of course, a rapid-fire medley of training footage set to a catchy up-tempo song. It's just one of the invaluable lessons learnt from Team America: World Police, the movie which also burnt bad intelligence, 'Matt Damon' and marionette sex scenes into the public consciousness.

 

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Despite what Team America might have us believe, not all movie terrorists come from 'Durk-Durka-stan'. In fact some of them are everyday homegrown citizens. Well, that is if you're a resident of Gotham City where homegrown citizen is a byword for insane Clowns and gas mask clad goliaths. Fortunately for every deranged lunatic who turns to the dark side there's another equally troubled individual who'll strap on a Bat costume, put on a gravelly voice and save the day.

 

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Have you recently started to suffer from insomnia, developed a penchant for bare-knuckle boxing or a deep-seated dislike for the contents of the Ikea catalogue? Yes? Well - spoilers - you might just have a dissociated alter-ego who plans on blowing up credit card records in an act of anti-capitalist mayhem. Our advice is to do the opposite of Ed Norton in Fight Club and seek professional help, just in case.

 

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Did you know that statistically you're more likely to be watching a movie about Jack Ryan's never-ending face off against international terrorists than any other genre of film? Okay, so maybe we made that up, but given the number of times Tom Clancy's iconic action man has gone toe-to-toe with terrorists it certainly feels that way. Just ask Alec Baldwin (The Hunt For Red October), Harrison Ford (Patriot Games/Clear And Present Danger) and Ben Affleck (The Sum Of All Fears) who between them have notched up four films' worth of CIA-sponsored day-saving.

 

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If you believe what the blockbusters are peddling then, despite our best efforts, movie terrorists' fiendish plans will eventually and inevitably come to fruition. Those plans will probably involve hijacking a plane, commandeering a cruise liner or even wreaking havoc on a US warship, as is the case in Steven Seagal's magnum opus, Under Siege. If and when that fateful day comes, our only hope lies in the hands of an inside man; a humble chef who - as luck would have it - just happens to be an ex-Navy Seal, with expertise in weapons, tactics, explosives and how to make bouillabaisse for a shipload of hungry sailors.

 

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It's easy for silver screen Presidents to say that they wont negotiate with terrorists from the comfort of the Oval Office. It's much harder, however, when they're crawling around the confines of Air Force One trying to rescue their family from a dodgy-accented Gary Oldman. Fortunately in the movies Presidents aren't just elected leaders of the free world, they're also former Vietnam vets who can flip-flop between wooing voters with photogenic smiles and snapping a man's neck with their bare hands.

 

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Show me a movie where a man must overcome some form of international terrorism and I'll show you a female sidekick who is also always either A) sexy, B) an air hostess or C) a sexy air hostess. See Halle Berry in Executive Decision and Alex Datcher in Passenger 57 for further evidence. Perhaps the best of the bunch is Commando's Rae Dawn Chong. Sure, she offers very little in the way of tangible assistance to Arnie's anti-terrorist actions, but that's hardly the point is it?


Did we miss any surefire ways to crush terrorist outfits? Reckon John McClane could 'do' Al-Qaeda? Let us know in the comments?

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