For an old man, Harrison Ford is pretty damn tough. He may not be the spring chicken he once was, but it’s only a matter of time before Ford releases another action flick and saves his family — and possibly the world — from some evil force or another. Through his long career, he’s fought Nazis, the law, terrorists and of course, the evil Galactic Empire. But which role is Ford’s toughest? Let’s run down the contenders.
1. Han Solo, The Star Wars Series
What did Solo do? Oh, only elude bounty hunters, drive the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy and play a crucial role in a scrappy band of rebels’s coup d’etat. When confronted by Darth Vader in The Empire Strikes Back (1980), he even has the stones to shoot — rather than, say, relieve himself in his pants and run away screaming like any sane person would do. That’s no small achievement considering the Sith Lord can choke people with his mind. Is that enough justification for you?
2. President Marshall, Air Force One (1997)
Have you ever wondered what would happen if The President’s plane was hijacked and the President was a total bad-ass? Have we got the movie for you. A middle-aged man, seemingly without any special skills beyond being played by Harrison Ford, fights off a band of terrorists in mid-air. What’s tougher than that? Punctuating the final kill by shouting “Get off my plane!” Check and mate.
3. Indiana Jones, The Indiana Jones Series
Despite his recent foray into Commy-fighting, Indy’s really an enemy of the Nazis. Like many Ford characters, Jones doesn’t seem to have any particular skill that would enable him to keep Hitler from acquiring the means to rule the world. But looks can be so very deceiving! He’s not just a brilliant professor with a cool hat;. he’s a brilliant professor with a cool hat, a whip and a strong punch… the kind of guy who brings a gun to a sword fight, and actually uses it!
4. Jack Ryan, Clear and Present Danger (1994), Patriot Games (1992)
If your problems tend to revolve around organized international crime, then Jack Ryan is your go-to-guy. In Patriot Games, it’s the IRA who screws with Ryan and his family. No surprise here, they get taken down. In Clear and Present Danger, Colombian drug cartels come after America itself — and who do you think is there to stop them? Jack Ryan, that’s who! For bonus points, he has the stones to stand up to the President for getting American soldiers killed in a covert mission. Is there anything the guy can’t do?
5. Richard Kimble, The Fugitive (1993)
One thing you should never do: Murder Harrison Ford’s wife and cover it up. He will find you and beat the living crap out of you. That’s just what happens in The Fugitive. Kimble — a mild-mannered doctor with a glorious beard — is framed for his wife’s murder and responds by channeling his inner-Fordness, shaving said beard, outrunning Tommy Lee Jones, solving the murder and bringing the culprits to justice. Just another day in the life of Harrison.
6. Rick Deckard, Blade Runner (1982)
After the success of Star Wars, Ford ventured back to the future to unleash his toughness upon another distant society. He’s tasked with bringing in some rogue replicants — bad-ass humanoids — and as you can imagine, these creatures prove no match. It’s only a matter of time before Harrison brings them down and, as always, manages to meet a pretty lady (a replicant herself) in the process.
7. Capt. Book, Witness (1985)
It takes a special kind of toughness to survive and thrive in Amish Country… Kidding! That’s not what makes this Ford character so tough. No, it’s the fact that he manages to survive after being shot in the stomach by a fellow cop. What’s more, when two corrupt cops come to Amish Country looking to finish the job, Harrison takes them down without even a weapon. Indeed, only Ford could make Amish Country feel foreboding.
8. Tommy, The Frisco Kid (1979)
With the exception of the occasional witty one-liner as Han Solo or Indiana Jones, Ford is not noted for his comedic styling. But in this forgotten comedy co-starring Gene Wilder, Ford’s Tommy is both funny and tough. A bank-robber by trade, he’s tough enough to rob to his heart’s content and still keep one step ahead of a wild posse out for his head. What’s more? He’s funny enough to keep up with Gene Wilder.
9. Tom O’Meara, The Devil’s Own (1997)
The Devil’s Own wasn’t the first time Ford tangled with the IRA, but if the IRA knows what’s good for them it will be the last. As a New York City cop who gets more than he bargained for with a covert IRA houseguest (Brad Pitt), Ford’s well into middle-age here and as tough as ever. Amongst his notable achievements this time around: He fights off two gunmen and wins a gun-duel with Pitt, even after being shot himself. Once again, no wound can staunch Ford’s steely resolve.
10. Jack, FireWall (2006)
Ford may have been 64 byFirewall‘s release, but the movie’s villain (Paul Bettany) was deluded thinking that blackmailing the aged hero into some illegal doings by holding his family hostage was a good idea. Senior citizen Ford fights his way through Bettany and his henchmen, rescues his family and in a crowning achievement, scales a building and impales Bettany with an axe. Take that, ageists!