Monday, 25 February 2013

FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! #20

This week's FIGHT is written by Chris Pollard.

Fighting.

For years, critical consensus has categorised it in the field of low art.

But, of course, there is an art of war.

And there is an art to the art of making low art look like high art.

Those who master it will forever be held up as legendary figures, their transgressions overlooked.

For this takes something more than gravitas in the field of playing dead blokes from history and a rigorous dedication to describing some middle class people's breakdown.

One day, their bodies will die.

But the sight of them bludgeoning someone to death with a piece of household masonry before making a tasteless joke and sauntering off as if they have the world's biggest erection...

That will never die. 

    

FIGHT #20

 


COLONEL JOHN MATRIX
vs
UNNAMED DRIVER

 


WHO THEY THEN? 




The Eighties, it was a different time. A better time. A time when men were men and best friends with rippling muscles could lift weights, rock out to Van Halen and penetrate each other without a hint of irony or homosexuality. Let’s go back and meet the greatest of these men, John Matrix; a one man army whose hobbies include killing evil mercenaries and explaining to an unsuspecting world that Boy George is a girly-man. A retired colonel and a devoted father, John Matrix is the purest distillation of everything that action films used to be, a raw untamed force of nature with an ability to reduce any murder to a glib quip.



He appeared in the film Commando, which didn’t need any sequels or spin-offs because it was perfect.



 
The Eighties, it was a different time. A time when pop was electronic and cars could explode without a team of hairless albinos programming the visuals. The (lazily titled) Unnamed Driver yearns for this era, which is why he is accompanied by a constant retro soundtrack and initially frowns at anything that might induce a change in his lifestyle. A stunt driver, he is prone to being blackmailed by the mob in an escalating series of set pieces, like all his kind. Still, underneath some throwback ultra-violence, he has a lovely face. Maybe the right woman could make him stop stomping on peoples skulls till he has bits of brain all over his handsome boots? Maybe then he could be a devoted father to that single mother’s spunky kid? Yes, unnamed driver is an action film protagonist, but with a Modern Sensibility. 
 


He appeared in the film Drive, which you can take you girlfriend to even though there is guts everywhere.


THEY PACKING MUCH HEAT?


John Matrix has lots of guns. Automatics, semi-automatics, carbines, sawn off shotguns, whiz bangers, boomsticks and pop weasels. Really, everything that a surrogate American could want to keep the British from invading. Rest assured that if you locked this man in a prison cell unarmed, in seconds he would jump through the wall with chips of rubble dripping from an unfeasibly large rocket launcher (Or, as we called them in the eighties, bazookas).

In the unlikely event that the Colonel runs out of ammo, he has a good line in improvising with the plumbing that can be torn from the walls of all good super villain bases.

Unnamed Driver begins each level with a car that he can drive real good. When he isn’t running you down he can sucker punch you then kick your face. He might even hammer a bullet directly into your mug, perhaps implying that real men don’t always need guns to shoot people. Nonetheless, he knows his way around a New York handshake, and he will use a gun when he needs to, like out of the window of the car that he perpetually drives, or in a 'Do you have a gun?' competition.

Unnamed is also protected by a pretty face, taciturn under the weight of a great unspecified sadness. Perhaps he actually hates cars? We can only project our own career hatred and assume. Unlike us, the greatest weapon in his arsenal is A Good Heart, with a latent need to do The Right Thing. 
 

THEIR BACK: WHO HAS IT?



Colonel John Matrix gives off a potent pheromone that ensures loyalty from women with perms. One such lady is Cindy, a flight attendant who can fly a stolen plane or pick up a gun and shoot it around for a bit (Real patriots don’t suffer from recoil). She is liable to get a snog after Matrix is done killing, because nothing helps you forget the light going out in the eyes of the men you just murdered like the compassionate embrace of someone who has just been through this nightmare by your side, and shares a responsibility for the grieving of the war dead. 


Unnamed Driver has decided to protect single mother Irene, because we all get lonely sometimes and need protecting from the hired goons that murdered our husband after he got out of jail at the end of the first act. Irene is the sort to show repulsion at spontaneous acts of homicide rather than grabbing a five iron and jumping into the fray, but if these murders are committed with her own best interests in mind then she will remain by Unnamed’s side, satisfied that one day they will go and live on a farm and the only things to be killed will be the livestock that he kicks in the face and stabs in the side to feed her son. 

 

NUANCES AND WHATNOT


John Matrix’s would do anything for his pre-teen daughter, Jenny. A single father, we can assume that Jenny is a precocious war orphan that John adopted after she followed him around a desecrated battle zone emulating his post battle quips with an adorable lisp. Perhaps he chiselled her from a spare abdominal muscle and she was brought to life by a tear of sweat from his glistening forehead. Regardless of the circumstances of her conception, Matrix is devoted to his daughter and if anyone comes within fifty feet of her then he will charge them like a mother hippo. 




Unnamed Driver learned to smile again by emulating the emotional spectrum of benign half orphan Benicio. After this any threats of violence against the child result in the driver scaling buildings in a single stunt flip to protect the integrity of Benicio’s soft, child-like skull. Whilst having a blood-rendering guardian angel is all very well, sometimes even an unstoppable killing machine needs the moderation of a child’s love to complete them. Meanwhile Irene gazes on, and imagines how nice it would be if the psychopath she has only just met were to teach her son to ride a bicycle.


 

IT'S CLOBBERING TIME


Through an hilarious mix up, classmates and fast friends Benicio and Jenny have been picked up from school by the wrong parent or guardians. Colonel John Matrix frowns at the wrong child in the passenger side of his humvee, whilst Unnamed Driver stifles a rare moment of emotion at the loss of Benicio’s smile from his life. As the Colonel and the Driver assume that their counterpart kidnapped their respective moppet for Nefarious Reasons, they rush to meet for a showdown that is sure to be more manly than a beer-barrel of cocks at a Bon Jovi concert.
Soon, both parties arrive at an abandoned industrial park to fix this plot contrivance with old fashioned stunt work, a big bag of blood squibs and a refreshing absence of bad CGI. The scene is set as the sun goes down over a ramshackle complex blessed by twisty roads and poorly maintained pipework. 
 
Colonel John Matrix is the first on the scene, accompanied by an outdated synth soundtrack. He cocks (manly) a gun of some description and looks around, with a brow furrow that could be misconstrued as acting, but only if you were a studio executive that had eaten a pound of cocaine for lunch, then washed it down with a particularly exciting address by Ronald Reagan. The driver is nowhere to be seen, so Matrix has a quick chat with Benicio to make sure that he didn’t sire him with the help.
Who is your daddy and what does he do?’
'My daddy is dead.’ The loveable urchin replies, ‘but when Unnamed Driver gets here, you are D.E.A.D.’
Oh, look at me, I am so scared.’ Pouts Matrix. ‘Hah, I was being sarcastic, asshole.’ He grins because he has bested this small child in a game of wits. Just then, he notices a strange apparition at the window.

McClane, is that you?’ he asks, somewhat confused.


But the figure doesn’t respond. Matrix lowers his gun and approaches the apparition, as it opens the door and walks in, face firm and unchanged.

Have you seen that asshole driver?’ Matrix asks.


The figure nods, then stabs the Colonel with a concealed knife. The Colonel clutches a palm to his new wound to stem the bleeding. With his other hand he tears the mask from the grim apparitions face, to be confronted by none other than Unnamed Driver!

I should have known it was you when you stabbed me.’

The Driver nods and emits a feeble ‘Yes’, an utterance surprisingly meek for a man that goes around stabbing people. Yet this word is enough for Matrix, who can now retort with a trademark quip.

Why don’t you pipe down!’ booms Matrix, as he rips a stray legth of the pipe asunder from the wall, then introduces it to the driver’s head and upper torso in a series of careless but powerful blows, not unlike a bear swatting flies in the woods. Unnamed stumbles back, blood spurting from his neck in a manner consistent with the application of an ADHD effects genius who misses the old days. He turns, and runs from the room.


John Matrix empties a machine gun clip at the retreating figure, but he knows that this will not be enough. He jumps out of a window onto some convenient crates of melons, then reloads, ready to finish the job. He stands tall, proud, the very embodiment of the American dream. Maybe, just maybe, trickle down economics isn’t an inherently flawed concept, and the eighties can save us all. Then, as Colonel John Matrix looks into the wind, he is run down by a fast stuntcar, which proceeds to reverse over his corpse to grind his bones into the pavement. As the car pulls away and glides off into the distance, a California license plate fall from the back bumper, to find a final resting place on the fresh corpse of Colonel Matrix, RIP. 

The Driver took some serious injuries in the fight, and may not survive the night. We will never know for sure if he receives medical attention in time, but this is the dull ambiguity of edgy modern cinema. Until the crunch, Unnamed Driver will continue to bleed to an electronic beat, but this is a refreshing retro sound with more consideration for our ears than that which accompanied the Colonel earlier in this section.

It seems likely that Benicio and Jenny will survive unscathed. Killing children is still a terrible way to end an action film. One can hope that Cindy and Irene can provide each other with mutual counselling for the succession of violent acts that they have both survived. And what have we learned? Perhaps the implication that an action hero’s real strength lies in recognising and remedying their lack of emotions, or maybe just that the old and outdated must be torn apart by a hungry new generation of rabid dogs.


AND THE WINNER IS...

  

  UNNAMED DRIVER



FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! will return in:

"CONTAINS SCENES OF SEXY VIOLENCE"

If you have any suggestions for who you'd like to see square go each other in future FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! articles, please mention them below.

Monday, 18 February 2013

FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! #19

This week's FIGHT is written by James Clayton.

Scientists have hypothesised that the absence of war creates a great cosmic imbalance in the Universe. Consequently, reality responds negatively and gets so stressed out that it spawns a black hole. Everything is then consumed and sucked into an unfathomable spacetime deformity and dragged into an oblivion in which there is no ‘undo’ button.



The end of the Universe. There. Gone. Bye bye. Fin.



Because we don’t want the end of the Universe to happen any time soon (we’re not even a third of the way through our bucket list), Fight! Fight! Fight! is here to perform altruistic services and prevent the opening of the ultimate void.



Violence is needed.



Violence is essential.



Violence is an innate, intrinsic feature that needs to be followed through if you have no wish to embrace the event horizon any time soon.



People die so we don’t die, see?



Anyhoodle, enough of the paradoxical preamble and amateurish pissing around with quantum physics - it’s high time we hurt something.



Tonight, two stars will take each other on in a timeless battle and the cosmos will thank them for it.



Let the beating begin...

FIGHT #19

 


PINGU
vs
FEATHERS McGRAW

 


WHO THEY THEN? 



Pingu is a claymation penguin who lives in Antarctica. He is famous for making distinctive honking noises, having an amazingly flexibile body and also for his juvenile indifference and childlike, playful enthusiasm. He is the titular star of the internationally-popular Swiss TV series Pingu.


 
Feathers McGraw is a claymation penguin masquerading as a plasticine chicken. His chicken-guise isn’t an identity crisis or grand delusion but is in fact a cunning ruse adopted so that he may advance his career as a criminal mastermind. With a rubber glove on his head and a shrewd brain in his head, McGraw cuts a sinister figure in the Lancashire underworld. He is the antagonist of the Aardman AnimationsWallace & Gromit short film The Wrong Trousers.


THEY PACKING MUCH HEAT?


Pingu has no experience with any kind of lethal weapon whatsoever because he’s been kept closeted by an overprotective mother. Nevertheless, he is pretty good at hitting things with sticks and highly proficient when it comes to throwing snowballs. His resourcefulness serves him well but what really makes Pingu a contender is his astounding physicality and shapeshifting ability. His expressive features, outstanding elasticity and array of deadly moves (his speciality: Avalanche Ball Assault) mean that he can never be dismissed as ‘not very dangerous’.

Feathers McGraw brandishes a revolver and carries bullets (his shooting skills are so-so) but his critical weapon is the criminal cranium underneath that rubber glove headpiece. He often outwits opponents, employs subtle manipulation techniques and overcomes adversity through strategy and incisive planning. McGraw is also well-known for his use of technology to achieve the desired ends and once commandeered a pair of stolen Techno Trousers though the remote-control robotic legs turned on him and were reclaimed by their offended inventor.

With bullets and brain power, Feathers probably has the advantage here.


THEIR BACK: WHO HAS IT?


Pingu is backed up by a loving family. He has a postman dad (he drives a delivery snowmobile), a housewife mother (she spends a lot of time ironing someone's clothes) and an unbearably cute little chick sister. Other allies include his grandfather (ace accordionist and ex-weightlifter) and his happy-slappy best mate Robby the Seal. Family fall-outs happen (usually when Pingu refuses to eat his greens or is just being a nuisance) but generally our hero can rely on the goodwill and support of his relatives and the wider Antarctic community. Being the son of the only postpenguin in the polar wasteland has its benefits, y’see?

A career in solitary criminal scheming does not allow you to acquire many allies or friends so Feathers is totally on his own. He once formed a close bond with his landlord though this friendship was exposed as a sham as McGraw was found to be simply using his buddy (an affable inventor) as an accessory to grand larceny. It’s unlikely that anyone will ever sympathise with the devious diamond snatcher again considering that he is the tricksy knave who framed Gromit (everybody’s favourite silent anthropomorphic canine).

Pingu wins the popularity contest without question.


NUANCES AND WHATNOT


Because they are both made out of modelling clay, both are highly vulnerable to fire. Also, because he’s been produced by Swiss people there is a chance that Pingu might be too busy making watches.

Feathers has also served time in prison which might have some impact on his psychological make-up and skillset. Crooks go to the can so that they can build up their bodies in the jail gym, build up their brains with the books in the library and learn how to conceal razorblades beneath their tongue. They come out with connections, physical and mental enhancements, the ability to quote great sections of the Bible and a firmer will to do whatever is necessary in order to survive. Could this give former inmate Feathers the edge over the young and naïve Pingu?

There’s also the possibility that a documentary filmcrew may arrive in Antarctica with ambitions to turn this into a feature-length documentary. Hopefully the director is Werner Herzog who manages to make masterful movies that simultaneously capture the immense wonder and brutal absurdity of the natural world. As long as no one gets eaten by an enraged penguin, everything should be cool...


IT'S CLOBBERING TIME

This is the point where we run all the above information through our highly sophisticated computer program to establish the victor. You can’t doubt the computer because it was made in God’s own image - a product of immaculate conception ultimately delivered and made manifest by a virgin programmer who was visited by angels. I’ve seen the computer perform miracles - it’s turned water into wine, healed the lame and shown me revelatory videos of octopussies turning invisible. The computer is the absolute truth and the saviour sent by God so, yeah, give thanks and praise. Amen.

 

Antarctica is made out of plasticine and anything's possible.

The scene is set for the Clash of the Claymation Penguins. It’s a frosty start from both antagonists though that’s only to be expected because of the polar setting and the full power air-conditioning rig that’s running to stop it all melting beneath the bright studio lights.

Initially Pingu and Feathers try to outstare each other. Blinking little bird eyes flash menacingly, like a cross between a singularity and an Aldi Own Brand Frozen Pea. Tension tightens. The arctic wind provides the only sound until Pingu’s short attention span snaps, his patience worn and his bloodlust up. Inhaling deeply, his diaphragm contorting like an unnatural accordion, he challenges McGraw.

Honk honk.

It’s on.

Both penguins charge.

In a flurry of beak jabs and wing swipes they peck and slap each other around a bit.

It transpires that penguins are not very good at hand to hand combat. This is obvious when you think about it.

They slip over each other, dancing on ice and wrestling in ungainly fashion with neither bird managing to gain the upper flipper. Falling back out of the scrum Pingu quickly scoops up a few snowballs and starts pelting several well-aimed throws at Feathers. As one knocks the rubber glove hat askew McGraw gets angry and pulls the pistol from beneath his chuff. Pingu dives for cover as the cunning con artist starts to fire bullets his way.

Smarting as a stray fleck of shrapnel grazes his shoulder, Pingu beats a retreat. He hides behind an icy outcrop and calls out for backup from Robby but the seal is scared stiff having seen that Feathers is packing heat. After a moment of gibbering panic, Pingu acknowledges that he’s going to have to go it alone, bites his upper beak (yes he does, shut it) and resolves to beat McGraw at his own game - advanced battle strategy.

He builds an igloo and establishes his base for a war of attrition. Feathers observes this from afar thanks to his hi-tech snow-vision binocular goggles (patent pending) he stole from his former landlord, and decides to do the same. Sadly, the pilfering pseudo-fowl doesn’t have the same experience in igloo erection and his ice hovel is inferior to Pingu’s. Draughts enter between the cracks and McGraw - more used to temperate climates after all those years spent away from his natural habitat - begins to feel the chill.

Pingu meanwhile is resting easy in his cosy hole, entertaining himself with choral rounds of “NOOT NOOT” His seamless, spectacularly-vaulted igloo - a masterpiece of ice-based architecture - has wonderful acoustics and the sweet sounds of our hero’s whooping carry right across the Antarctic continent.

Impatient and increasingly cold, it irritates Feathers.

Taunted and tetchy, he keeps eyeballing his opponent’s distant igloo but there’s no sign of movement. He has no access to the resources with which he could build gadgets and techno-techno superweapons. He doesn’t have the training or fortitude to withstand prolonged trench combat in a subzero wasteland. Things look very bleak for Feathers.

Several months later, the battle site is still characterised by torpor and stalemate. Feathers is fragile, his mental state and stamina dwindling as the happy hoots of Pingu ricochet around the environs. Distracted and depressed, McGraw fails to notice when Pingu emerges quietly and stealthily starts to sled his way towards Feathers’s position. Under the cover of the confusing aural echo cloak, Pingu makes his move and goes in for the kill.

Leaping out from behind McGraw with a shocking “NUG NUG” Pingu startles the despairing diamond thief. He drops his revolver and reels back as the plucky young penguin pounces. Pingu slaps the petrified McGraw, pounds him with fisted flippers and mercilessly stamps webbed feet into his face.

Gasping out gibberish whoops of triumphant joy, Pingu grabs Feathers by the neck and finishes the battle by shoving his right flipper down his nemesis’ throat and yanking out his heart. He tosses it aside where it is caught open-mouthed and gulped down greedily by Robby the Seal who is now famished having gone for 4 months without food while the fight rolled on.

The long winter war is over. Whatever the flipper equivalent of a high five is, that’s what Pingu and Robby do right now over the stiff corpse of the fallen chickenshit charlatan, Feathers McGraw.



AND THE WINNER IS...

  

PINGU


Ultraviolent Encounters at the End of the World - narrated by Morgan Freeman and directed by Werner Herzog - will be released on blu-ray in December 2017.

FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! will return in:


"MY SON, MY SON, WHAT HAST YE DONE TO MY GUMSHIELD?"

If you have any suggestions for who you'd like to see square go each other in future FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! articles, please mention them below.

Monday, 11 February 2013

FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! #18

This week's FIGHT is written by Your Mum.

Fighting is what makes a man.



Arguing about who would win fights between fictional characters is what makes up most of the parts of the internet that aren’t porn or pictures of kittens.



This is not a fight between porn and pictures of kittens.

    
FIGHT #18

 


TONY STARK
vs

JOHN McCLANE

 


WHO THEY THEN? 




Tony Stark is the current CEO of Stark Enterprises/International/Fujikawa/Resilient; he became a founding member of the Avengers after developing a powered suit that helped him escape capture by militants and survive a life-threatening shrapnel wound.



When not Man-Ironing, boozing, or philandering, he runs an ex-munitions company which operates on the Wayne Enterprises business model of doing some largely ill-defined important stuff and lots of philanthropy to generate a profit which the top man then spends in secret on neat toys for himself. This may explain why it has suffered various mergers, takeovers, outright coups, incidences of corporate espionage, and total collapses over the years.


 

John McClane is a hot-headed ex-NYC Cop with a grim sense of humour and a talent for fighting terrorists against ever-increasing odds. He does this by crawling around in vents, complaining and losing his clothes.



Incredibly chatty to the point of being one step off doing Alfie-style narration, John seemingly needs to be talking to someone at any given time, whether it be to himself, someone on a radio, his arch-nemesis, or even an inanimate girl on a Playboy poster. Aging, grumpy, tired, sarcastic, unlucky, capable of alienating everyone around him, and packing some memorable lines and catchphrases, John McClane is the Victor Meldrew of action heroes.

THEY PACKING MUCH HEAT?


Iron Man is essentially the bastard offspring of Robocop and a fighter jet. Just a small sample of his arsenal includes missiles, repulsor rays, sonic weapons, pulse weapons, flamethrowers, and a deadly Uni-Beam. To say that he is armed to the teeth would be an understatement. Given that Stark’s Extremis suit is partly contained within his bones, his teeth may actually be armed.



As McClane is typically woefully underprepared for any given hostage situation or city-wide crisis, his arsenal is largely ad hoc; consisting of his police-issue revolver, anything he can steal from whoever he’s fighting at the time, and whatever he can tape to his back. Also if you give him a police car, he can probably kill a helicopter with it.



Tony Stark wins.

 

THEIR BACK: WHO HAS IT?




John McClane has Sgt. Al Powell: purveyor of moral support, eater of Twinkies.



Although he has relinquished his role as Director of S.H.I.E.L.D, Iron Man can count on backup from The Avengers.



Tony Stark wins.



Oh alright, since there is a word count to get up to here, let’s break this down. Since the proper Earth-616 Avengers line-up has at some point constituted about half the Marvel universe, let’s just count the movie lot as backup. So that is:






This is some pretty solid backup even before considering the B-listers; some guy who shoots arrows and a lady who shoots guns, the sum total of which is a bunch of conventional weaponry and the addition of a touch of diversity to a team which is admittedly so largely staffed with white males that it could reasonably be confused with the aftermath of a terrible accident during a YMCA trip to a Tipp-Ex factory.



Even without The Avengers, Tony Stark’s back is up’d (sometimes) by ex-bodyguard and friend Colonel James “Rhodey” Rhodes, who also goes by the fairly accurate name of War Machine. Which is to say rather redundantly that his superhero persona is literally a machine made for war. He is Iron Man but significantly moreso, with more guns, missiles, and energy weapons strapped to him than the protagonist of a pre-Halo First Person Shooter.



John McClane’s expanded entourage includes Zeus (who is not Liam Neeson, but another variant of Samuel L Jackson, who therefore cancels out Nick Fury), and whoever Justin Long’s character was in Die Hard 4.0 – Relevant skills include cowering and being able to effectively use whatever videogame-like interface that Hollywood believes hacking looks like.



John also has a family consisting of ex-wife Holly, daughter Lucy, and son John “Jack” McClane Jr. However, as his family are usually estranged or unhelpful until the end of an adventure, they aren't massively useful.



So, in conclusion, the winner is totally Iron Man.


 

NUANCES AND WHATNOT


Although lacking Stark’s IQ and budget, McClane’s inventiveness under pressure is considerable. He is also a master of gallows humour, frequently self-referential and only intended to be heard by himself. Considering these two characteristics, McClane would likely be a mediocre stand-up, but brilliant at improv.



McClane’s personal life is tempestuous, with his personality frequently damaging his career and his family life prior to the start of any given adventure. Luckily these things can usually be resolved temporarily by besting several armed thugs in close quarters combat.



Tony Stark is a playboy genius recovering from a serious drinking problem. Underneath his exterior sheen, he is still a man of principles, willing to go beyond just basic photo-op-philanthropy to do what he feels is right for the little people by taking hard or unpopular decisions, whether it be shutting down his munitions company’s entire core business or cracking down on superheroing freedoms to make his friends accountable to the public.



McClane wins.

 

IT'S CLOBBERING TIME


The results of this battle have been compiled using a very sophisticated computer. It’s well-versed in opera, and is a qualified sommelier. The computer is also sophisticated enough to know what beginning in media res means, and doesn’t care if you don’t because it’s going to do it anyway.



-----------RUN SIMU-PUNCHUP.EXE----------------

Crouched somewhere in the cramped and labyrinthine air-conditioning shafts of FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!’s all-purpose combat arena (the Tyler Durden Memorial Delicatessen), John McClane bitterly reflects on the events that have led him to this point. As always, the bout had started with his personal life in disarray (this time the estrangement of his previously beloved Aunt Imelda) before things spiralled rapidly out of control.



Crawling further into the ventilation system and trying to work on a good situationally-appropriate quip, McClane hears the noise of tearing metal as the vent grille in front of him screeches open to reveal a very angry-looking black-and-gunmetal robot exoskeleton.



Exasperated, McClane stares War Machine right in the visor.



I was about to say something about the same shit happening to the same guy," he says, "But I’ve gotta hand it to ya; this is new.”



THAT IS IT! PLEASE, JUST SHUT UP” yells War Machine. “I am going to watch myself beat seven shades out of you with my own eyes, not the suit’s!”, his angry metal face opening to reveal an even angrier fleshy face beneath. “Do you know how good the audio scanners are in this thing? I have had to listen to twenty whole minutes of your inane bitching while I was trying to find you. Were you born without an inner monologue?”



The pause is just enough for McClane to assess the situation. Behind War Machine is a storage room for the sort of ridiculously dangerous things that are usually lying around in action movie locations. Trying out this new inner monologue thing he’d just heard about, he concludes that there might be a chance here, but it’ll hurt like hell at best and send him straight there at worst. Still, if he was going to die, then he was going to die hard. Like an erection in a guillotine.



Awkwardly pulling out his pistol and taking aim at the conveniently-placed and presumably very explosive canisters in the storeroom, John spits out one last bitter reminiscence to nobody in particular, recalling Aunt Imelda’s words before their falling out; “Come out to the Tyler Durden Memorial Delicatessen! We’ll get together, have a few laughs…”



McClane squeezes the trigger as he sees War Machine jam his metal fist into the vent. A shot rings out, followed by a burst of noise, heat and light, before blackness consumes everything.



Waiting in the stairwell, Tony Stark replays the initial stages of the bout in his suit’s HUD. Reviewing the video-feed, Stark saw the characteristic smart-ass attitudes flagrantly on display as they savagely hurled their most quotable catchphrases across the ring.



Welcome to the party, pal!” challenged McClane



I’m bringing the party to you!” retorted Stark



Yippee-kye-ay Mother Hubbard."



This moment of censorship-based weakness proved decisive, allowing Iron Man to get the drop on him. Significantly more accustomed to conducting smug wordplay using teen-appropriate vocabulary, Stark threw out smarmy quip after smarmy quip, each of which dealt stinging blows to McClane’s ego, these followed by significantly more stinging blows to his face.



As the one-sided melee continued unabated, someone McClane didn't like very much from earlier turns up being loud and obnoxious, only to be confronted by War Machine. Their contribution to the fight was barely worth the time it takes to type the resultant compound onomatopoeia: “KRRZZZAPSMASHTHOOMSQLUNCH”.



The sqlunch part was especially unpleasant.



The distraction was all that McClane needed to flee to the relative safety of nearest convenient air vent entrance. Rhodes charged off into the back-passages in pursuit. Stark decided against it, and instead instructs his suit to play that piece of classical music that sounds like someone is singing 'ELEPHANTS YEAH'.



Back in the present, Stark finishes the video and waits for War Machine’s return. A thumping clanking sound makes Stark vaguely aware of his counterpart’s hulking presence, and he prepares to congratulate Rhodey on a job presumably well done.



Suddenly the strains of Ode To Joy and McClane’s voice boom. “Hey Pal, patch in.”. Stark cycles through the channels, and connects to the War Machine helmet's visual feed, only to see Rhodey tied to a chair in front of a bathroom mirror, with text scrawled on his shirt. It reads:



Now I have a repulsor ray.

Ho.
Ho.
Ho.



This is even more impressive when you consider McClane had to do all the writing backwards, and find a copy of Ode to Joy to play through War Machine's com-channels via Spotify. What a good job he met Justin Long's character and became all tech-savvy in the last film, eh?



Iron Man turns around to see War Machine, housing McClane’s slightly singed smirk. His chest-mounted uni-beam glows and crackles, channelling the suit’s entire battery. A single cataclysmic burst of energy later, the fight ends.



Triumphant and exhausted, McClane finds time for one more self-referential quip as he extricates himself from the immobile exoskeleton.



Now you know what a TV dinner feels like!”, he remarked, provoking no laughter from the unconscious Stark nor from the audience that had not heard the relevant remark that McClane had made only to himself in a vent several years ago.



Tough crowd, thought McClane, enjoying his newfound inner monologue. Still, at least he could console himself with the fact that he was now somehow unestranged from Aunt Imelda again because that’s how Die Hard films work.

AND THE WINNER IS...

  

  JOHN McCLANE



HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY

 FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! will return in:

"SAME FIGHT TIME, SAME FIGHT CHANNEL."

If you have any suggestions for who you'd like to see square go each other in future FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! articles, please mention them below.