It’s fun to watch Mythbusters, but it’s even more fun when they do tests such as the glass-shattering scene from Die Hard. If you’ve seen the movie then you know which scene I’m talking about. If not then the original clip is below for you to take a look at. Now a lot of action movies make some of us go “yeah right, that could never happen”, but that’s why the Mythbusters are there. They try to debunk what could and couldn’t happen in a movie.
In this case it comes down to whether John McClane would have actually made it into the building after jumping from the roof and then putting three rounds into the skyscraper window before falling through. It looks like something that you wouldn’t believe was possible. These days it’s hard to tell since that safety glass that some people use is pretty resistant to shattering like this. But using the glass of the time and the same kind of process the Mythbusters decided to see if it could really work.
Thankfully they used their test dummy to stand in as the action hero in this instance, as this would be way too dangerous for a human being even in a controlled setting. With the crash dummy suspended and ready to swing down into the window another person was ready with a 9mm pistol aimed at the glass to simulate the gunshots right before the dummy went through it. When the dummy was released the shooter fired off three rounds, which seemed like overkill since the first one shattered the glass and almost completely took it down. That begged another test to see if one shot was enough, and it was. With one shot the glass was pulverized and the dummy went through just fine.
Then they tried a test without any gunshots, and the resulting collision looked like it would be absolutely painful and even fatal since the glass seemed to fold around the dummy, which would mean shards would be stabbing hard into a human body, especially one without a shirt on like in the movie. It’s pretty cool to think that this could actually work though, so the movie wasn’t completely bogus. The one question I would have would be about the shards of glass that he went through in the movie. Wouldn’t those still pose a risk? Ah, but that’s not the point of the test. The point was whether the bullets would actually work the way they did in the movie.
Die Hard was one of the most awesome movies ever made but there are a few issues, though thankfully crashing through glass isn’t one of them. Perhaps one of the biggest problems is a New York City cop taking on a bunch of hardened terrorists that are trained in weapons, unarmed combat, at least a few of them, and greatly outnumber him. Of course McClane has the slight advantage of being an unknown and thereby making them think just a bit harder as to how they’ll get rid of him. Being the fly in the ointment can be an advantage after all.