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This is an article detailing the similarities between the two films White House Down and Die Hard.

The Similarities between John Cale and John McClane

  1. Main character named John.
  2. Children call both by their first name.
  3. Both are willing to do anything to save their family.
  4. Both are everyday cops who jump into action to save others because it is the right thing to do.
  5. Both have strained marriages and eventually divorce.
  6. Both have trouble with authority.
  7. Both heroes take a severe beating by the revenge-driven terrorist before winning the fight.
  8. Both wear dark grey khakis and blood-stained white tank tops.
  9. Both are off-duty and in the wrong place at the wrong time.
  10. Both end up in an armshirt at the end of the film.
  11. McClane performs amateur surgery by removing glass from his own wound. Cale performs amateur surgery by taking glass out of the President’s wound.
  12. Toward the end of Die Hard, John McClane has only two bullets left, something that majorly raises the stakes. In WHD John Cale announces he only has three bullets left, which raises the stakes.
  13. In Die Hard, John Cale takes a bad guy’s walkie-talkie after killing him, using it to spy on the terrorists. In WHD, John Cale takes a bad guy’s walkie-talkie after killing him and using it to spy on the terrorists.
  14. In Die Hard, Hans Gruber cowers in fear and pretends to be a hostage in order to not be shot, despite the fact he’s actually the villain. In WHD, John Cale cowers in fear and pretends to be a hostage in order to not be shot, despite the fact he’s actually the hero.
  15. Both heroes hide from the revenge-driven terrorists behind a metal grate and cocks the hammer on their pistol should they need to fire it if they are discovered.

Other Similarities between the films

  1. Both films have a subplot between a revenge-driven terrorist and the hero because the hero killed a friend or relative of theirs. 
  2. Both films feature a slick, amoral and goofy computer expert. 
  3. As John Cale's Die Hard counterpart is John McClane, Emily Cale's is Holly McClane, President James Sawyer's is Sergeant Powell and partially Joseph Takagi, Emil Stenz's is Karl, the man that John kills in the girls bathroom before John taking away his gun is very similar to Tony (Tony's gun was stronger than McClane's, and therefore McClane took away that gun and later on Tony's death would drive Karl into anger), Walker's counterpart is Hans Gruber, Skip Tyler's is Theo, and an unnamed female reporter's Die Hard counterpart is Richard Thornburg (televising information to the villains that dooms Emily/Holly).  
  4. Both films feature a building being blown up as part of the terrorist plot.
  5. Both films feature a relative of the main character who is taken hostage and used by the terrorists to get the hero to surrender.
  6. McClane is in the bathroom when a hostage crisis erupts, allowing him to hide. Cale’s daughter is in the bathroom when a hostage crisis erupts, allowing her to hide.
  7. In Die Hard, McClane loses two shoes. In White House Down, Jamie Foxx’s president only loses one.
  8. McClane and Cale are both in contact with a member of law enforcement on the outside who butts heads with their superiors in order to aid the protagonist.
  9. Bad guys entering the Nakatomi Plaza nonchalantly shoot the front desk security guard with a silenced pistol. Bad guys entering the White House nonchalantly shoot the front desk security guard with a silenced pistol.
  10. Both films have scenes where the hero hides on top of an elevator.
  11. Both films have scenes where the hero barely avoids betting crushed by the elevator.
  12. Both films have scenes where the hero climbs up an elevator shaft.
  13. LAPD surrounded the Nakatomi Plaza in Die Hard as much as how the United States military surrounded the White House. Also, in Die Hard the LAPD sent in a SWAT Van to infiltrate but it was instead blown up just like how in White House Down, the military sent in one of their tanks which then got blown up.
  14. In Die Hard the villains initially pose as terrorists but are actually robbers who just want money, while in WHD the villains initially pose as robbers who just want money but are in fact terrorists who want to start Armageddon.
  15. Sleazy journalists reveal McClane’s name while he’s hiding in Die Hard. In WHD, sleazy journalists reveal the name of Tatum’s daughter while she’s hiding in the White House.
  16. Both films feature an airstrike on the building.
  17. Both films feature rooftop fight sequences.
  18. In Die Hard, a helicopter starts shooting at McClane mistaking him as a threat and then the helicopter gets destroyed and in White House Down, a Black Hawk Stallion starts shooting at Cale mistaking him for a threat until it gets destroyed.

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