Wife and a child
|Behind the scenes|
- "I hear ya partner. L.A.'s finest are on it, so light 'em if you got 'em."
- ―Al Powell [src]
Sergeant Al Powell is an LAPD cop that helps John McClane with the terrorist takeover of the Nakatomi Plaza in the 1988 film Die Hard. The character also makes a brief appearance in the 1990 sequel Die Hard 2, where he assists McClane in his investigation at Dulles International Airport.
On his way home from work, Al Powell was at a gas station grabbing some twinkies when he was radioed to investigate an emergency call sent from McClane at the hijacked Nakatomi Plaza. Arriving at the building, Powell was met by one of the terrorists posing as a security guard and was persuaded that the alarm was a mistake triggered by bugs in the Nakatomi computer system. In a desperate bid to attract Powell's attention, McClane threw Marco's corpse from the 34th floor onto the hood of his police car. Realizing that their cover had been blown, Hans Gruber's terrorists opened fire on Powell's desperately fleeing car.
Barely escaping, Powell called in for backup assistance and a police siege of the building began. Throughout the film, Powell talked to McClane (under the alias "Roy" or "cowboy") via CB radio and tried to help and comfort him, often defending him from the outbursts of his superior, Deputy Chief Dwayne T. Robinson. Powell provided a link between McClane and the LAPD, keeping him up-to-date with developments such as the doomed SWAT team raid and the arrival of the FBI.
During their conversations the two men grow to relate to one another and Powell reveals to McClane that he had been restricted to desk-work following an accident where he shot and killed a child who was carrying a toy ray gun. The script reveals that he has spent eleven years behind the desk as a result. The last conversation the two men have via radio is abruptly cut short when McClane - having discovered that the roof was rigged with explosives - is placed at gunpoint by Gruber's right-hand man Karl. The only phrase Powell can discern is something to do with a double-cross.
At the end of the movie, McClane and Powell finally meet each other face to face greet one another. A friendly hug is brought to an abrupt end when Karl emerges from the building wielding a machine gun. As the terrorist brings his weapon to bare on John, Al finally summons the courage to draw his revolver again and shoots Karl dead.
- "Take that twinkie out your mouth and grab a pencil will ya."
- ―John McClane calling up Powell for assistance [src]
After a pair of armed perps break into the baggage handling area at Dulles International Airport, John McClane is forced to kill one of the men and grabs an improvised set of fingerprints from his corpse. Looking to identify the man, McClane phones Powell who is back in the LAPD office preparing to snack on a twinkie.
Asking how his vacation is going, John responds that his wife stood him alone in Washington DC with his in-laws, causing Powell to quip "Ah, the in-laws. They love their policemen son-in-laws, don't they?" McClane faxes the fingerprints to Powell for identification, much to his surprise considering McClane's aversion to technology.
After getting the dossier of the man that matched the fingerprints, he calls McClane back. Powell notes that, according to the Department of Defense, the man was an American military advisor, Sergeant Oswald Cochrane, who was reported killed in a helicopter accident in Honduras two years before. He then faxes a copy of the dossier to McClane. After getting his thanks from McClane, Powell nodded before hanging up on each other.
- Powell appeared in the Die Hard video games Die Hard: Nakatomi Plaza and Die Hard: Vendetta. In both games, he was voiced by Reginald VelJohnson.
- VelJohnson admitted that Powell's liking of Twinkies has become somewhat of his own trademark. He states that fans will sometimes give him Twinkies, often stating that he 'probably wanted one'.
- Although he has played the same role in the first two, he has been absent ever since.
- He is the one of the three supporting characters to only appear in two Die Hard films, the others being Holly and Thornburg.
- The character of Al Powell was taken directly from the Roderick Thorp novel 'Nothing Lasts Forever', although the original character was younger and appears much later into the story.
- VelJohnson reprised his role as Powell again in an episode of the television show Chuck. During the episode, he is shown eating twinkies with Big Mike.
- "I said we'll talk later, Roy. If you're what I think you are you should know when to listen, when to shut up... and when to pray."
- "The man is hurting! He's alone, he's tired, he hasn't seen diddly squat from anyone down here... and you're going to stand there and tell me that he's going to give a damn about what you do to him, if he makes it out of there alive? Why don't you wake up and smell what you shoveling?"
- "No, but it's gonna need a paint job and a shit load of screen doors."
- "I shot a kid. He was 13 years old. Ohhh, it was dark, I couldn't see him. He had a ray gun, looked real enough. You know, when you're a rookie, they can teach you everything about bein' a cop except how to live with a mistake. Anyway, I just couldn't bring myself to draw my gun on anybody again."
- "Well, what are we gonna do now? Arrest them for not paying their electric bill?"
- (to Dwayne T. Robinson) "Want a breath mint?"
- "Ouch. When you get those feelings, insurance companies start to go bankrupt."
- "You're not pissing in somebody's pool, are you?"
|Die Hard Characters|
|John McClane - Holly Gennero - Lucy McClane - John McClane, Jr. - Al Powell - Richard Thornburg|
|Die Hard||Hans Gruber - Karl - Theo|
|Die Hard 2||Colonel Stuart - Leslie Barnes - General Ramon Esperanza - Carmine Lorenzo|
|Die Hard with a Vengeance||Simon Gruber - Zeus Carver - Katya|
|Live Free or Die Hard||Thomas Gabriel - Matt Farrell - Mai Linh - Warlock|
|A Good Day to Die Hard||Yuri Komarov - Irina Komarov - Viktor Chagarin - Alik - Mike Collins|