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Liam Neeson vs Bruce Willis: Who is the ultimate action hero?


1st Jan 2015 Film & TV

Liam Neeson vs Bruce Willis: Who is the ultimate action hero?

Forget Arnie and Sylvester the action heroes of now are clearly Bruce Willis and Liam Neeson. Both over 50 and still capable of drawing mass audiences to watch them stomp out the bad guys. But who is the most badass?

Their credentials

First thing's first, what skills do these two great on-screen action heroes bring?

Liam Neeson

Fights wolves

Liam Neeson the Fray

Trained both Batman and Jedi

Liam Neeson Qui-Gon Jinn


Destroyed sex traffickers

Liam Neeson Taken Gif


Bruce Willis

Single handily defeated terrorists... On five separate occasions

Bruce Willis Die Hard GIF

Travelled through space and saved the world

Bruce willis Armageddon gif


Has been badass alongside Sylvester Stalone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Statham, Micky Rourke and Jet Li

Arnie and Bruce GIf


Verdict: Strong credentials from both heroes but no one would mess with the bloke who trained Batman


Taken vs Die Hard

Both movies include the male lead solely taking out a huge number of not very nice men. Both fight hard to protect their beloved; wife and daughter respectively. But how do they compare in the box office?

World wide box office 

The Die Hard franchise grossed a total of $1,435,168,362, whereas Taken grossed $604,748,989. Granted that there are more Die Hard films than Taken so let's make this a little fairer.

Die Hard averaged $287,037,272 per film, whereas Taken averaged a whopping $302,374,494 per film. 

Verdict: Taken wins, but this is likely to be an ongoing battle as both films show no signs of stopping yet.


Body count

Before we get into who's killed the most onscreen, let's not forget these kills are only when Neeson and Willis have played the hero—not the villain.

Liam Neeson has accumulated 113 kills in 15 films—an average of 7.5 per film. 

Bruce Willis  has accumulated 168 in 62 films—working out at 2.7 per film.

However, sourcing an accurate stat for Willis has proved difficult with one website claiming 309 and another going right up to 604 (the two latter websites have also stated inaccuracies occur after 9 counts). We decided to go with HeyUGuys as a reliable source.


Top Kills

Liam's managed to kill 31 in Taken alone. As Qui-Gon Jinn in Star Wars, he amassed 20 kills.

Bruce's top kill count occurred in The Fifth Element, with 26 kills, shortly followed by John McClane's 24 in Die Hard 2.

The Die Hard franchise accumulated 73 in total, while Taken (so far) 51.

Verdict: It seems Neeson has taken the lead in this round.



The Winner:

Liam Neeson

Liam Neeson Ultimate Hero

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