America's greatest '80s tough guy movie montages


The greatest weekend of the year is upon us.

Each summer, Fourth of July allows us to celebrate the things that make our country great. There's an all-day marathon of the movie Independence Day on TNT (Jeff Goldblum = America!), Joey Chestnut jamming hot dogs down his gullet on Coney Island (Throat-Jamming = America!), and people getting blasted on Coors Light--the official beer of America--and jumping over those sparkler fountains while their friends throw lit sparklers at them.

But above all else, there is one thing that makes us stand up and remember what makes this the greatest country in the world: Tough guy movie montages.

Nothing that gets the blood pumping like a three-minute montage of one of cinema's greatest bad-asses kicking butt or preparing to kick butt while a hot 80's anthem blasts through your TV (or computer) speakers. That's why this week it's our patriotic duty to bring you the best tough guy movie montages ever created, and rank them on a scale of how American they are.

It's your duty to watch them. Do it for America.

[jump] Rocky 4

<br? />This is the easy choice. Seeing Rocky with a siiiick beard chopping wood, lifting boulders, and sprinting through the snow while his wife inexplicably looks on (who brings their wife on a bros weekend to the Soviet Union? Bro code, Balboa. Bro code) spliced with superhuman Ivan Drago getting all juiced up while Brigitte Nielsen and Flava Flav* monitor menacingly? That's a 4 on the Stormin' Norman Schwarzkopf scale of American badassness. Bravo, Rock.

*Note: While Flava Flav isn't actually in the movie, he's always there in spirit. And in our hearts.

The Karate Kid

The OG tournament montage where Daniel LaRusso runs through the All Valley Karate Tournament, effectively decimating the entire Cobra Kai dojo in the process while Joe Esposito rocks the F out of "You're the Best" easily qualifies for a Schwarzkopf. HOWEVER, what really takes it over the top is Martin Kove lurking on the sidelines like the world's most intense t-ball dad, instructing his kiddos to do great bodily harm to each other. Sure, he's the bad guy--but he's an American bad guy. And a level 5 Schwarzkopf.


Sometimes being badass isn't just about stomping dudes, rocking out, and hanging out with Pat Morita. Sometimes it's about stomping ghosts, rocking out, and hanging out with Bill Murray. The supernaturally awesome montage in the first Ghostbusters movie has almost everything that makes America great: Dan Aykroyd getting a hot ghost-job (fast-forward to 2:10, you'll get it), Ray Parker Jr.'s greatest hit, and the most amazing fake New York Post headline ever written (Ghost Cops Bust Chinatown Spook). Sadly, this montage only gets a level 3 Schwarzkopf rating, due to the fact that Ernie Hudson totally got shafted.

Over the Top

Stallone is back! And this time he's wearing a hat. This montage has inspired generations of frat-bros to dramatically turn their hats backwards anytime something rad is about to transpire, while also providing Sammy Hagar with a fat payday. Over the Top gets a solid 3.5 on the Schwarzkopf scale of American awesomeness, thanks to the surprisingly gender-equal move to put in arm wrestling females near the end. Females wearing leotards, that is. For America.

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The plan was to end on a high-note, talking about how Van Damme traveled into foreign lands, destroyed the competition in the underground fighting tournament, and ultimately brought America its greatest glory with a montage so insane that it defies words. Then I remembered that Van Damme is from Belgium, and that's just gross. Not only do you get no Schwarzkopf's, you get a Daughtry. Deal with it.

Got a recommendation for any other sweet montages for America? Drop a comment and wave your flag proudly. God Bless America.