5 action movie characters I’d hire to be my bodyguard

Keanu Reeves in John Wick Chapter 2.

Most of us will never be targeted by international assassins. And that’s great, because who wants to be marked for death? It doesn’t sound like much fun. The same goes for kidnapping plots, robberies, and other outlandishly dangerous situations you’d see in a standard action flick. As far as we’re concerned, let the movies be the movies. We’ve got enough problems to deal with in reality.

However, in the unlikely event that your life was in danger and you could only call upon an action movie character for help, who would you reach out to? There’s no shortage of options. But for me, there are five easy choices to make when it’s my life on the line. That’s why the following tough guys are the five action movie characters that I’d hire to be my bodyguard.

John McClane

Bruce Willis as John McClane in Die Hard, crawling through a vent with a bloody face and a lighter in his hand.
20th Century Fox

Note that the only John McClane that I’ll settle for is Bruce Willis in his prime from the first three Die Hard movies. Let’s just pretend that the other two films never happened. McClane isn’t a superhuman action hero who’s invulnerable to pain, at least not in the initial flicks. Instead, he’s just a regular guy who rises to the occasion to save the day and rescue his estranged wife from dangerous thieves pretending to be terrorists.

Don’t you want somebody who’s so dedicated that they’ll run barefoot on broken glass just to survive? McClane’s done that and more. But hopefully he’ll remember his shoes this time.

James Bond

Eva Green and Daniel Craig in Casino Royale
Sony Pictures Releasing / MGM

Ok, so 007 doesn’t always have the best track record when it comes to protecting the people he loves. In Casino Royale, James Bond fails to save Vesper Lynd, although the mitigating circumstance there is that she prevented him from doing so. Bond doesn’t have the same excuse in Skyfall, which is where he seduced Sévérine and promised to protect her from Raoul Silva. Sévérine was killed shortly thereafter, and all Bond had to show for it was a quip.

However, there’s nobody better to call upon if you’ve been kidnapped. Bond will move heaven and Earth to infiltrate a villain’s hideout and eliminate every henchman between him and his goal. The final bad guy inevitably dies at Bond’s hand. But as long I make it out alive, I’m fine with it.

Jason Statham

Jason Statham and Shu Qi in The Transporter.
20th Century Studios

To be clear, this pick covers any character who has ever been played by Jason Statham in an action movie. Because if you’ve seen one Jason Statham film, then you’ve kind of seen them all. He’s not an actor who gets hired for his emotional range. Instead,he’s spent the last two decades convincingly building his brand as one of the go-to action stars in Hollywood.

Since this is all just a thought experiment to begin with, the ideal team to handle a crisis would be a group entirely comprised of Statham’s characters. Every Statham Everywhere All At Once, if you will. You could have the best getaway driver in Frank Martin from The Transporter, the leadership of The Expendables‘ Lee Christmas, and the unrelenting drive of Deckard Shaw from the Fast and Furious films.

John Wick

Keanu Reeves in John Wick 3 - Parabellum.

John Wick’s skills lie more in killing than protecting. But that’s the exact reason why he’d be a great bodyguard. Anything that Wick gets his hands on becomes a lethal weapon, and even armies of assassins haven’t been able to slow him down.

He’s absolutely lethal in a fight. So much so that even the mention of John Wick’s name sends shivers of fear down the spines of anyone who knows about him. Money can’t buy a reputation that’s so intimating that grown men would rather flee than fight John Wick.

The Terminator

Edward Furlong and Arnold Schwarzenegger in "Terminator 2: Judgment Day."
TriStar Pictures

When it comes to the Terminator, accept no substitutes. The T-800 model has been coming back in time for 40 years, and it still routinely outperforms more advanced models from the future. Now, it would be silly to suggest that this Terminator model is more human than its successors. But there is something about the T-800 that will never accept defeat — even if it means self-termination.

The Terminator should be the top name on anyone’s list of action movie bodyguards. He’s almost invulnerable and he rarely ceases to function before the job is finished. And as we all know by now, the only things that can kill this Terminator are the last three sequels.