September 03, 2003

Simon Gruber

It seemed to be a plan driven by personal revenge. Det. John McClane (Bruce Willis) was singled out to perform tricks for a maniac terrorist, and the NYPD and FBI would soon discover that Simon Gruber (Jeremy Irons) was the man behind it all. The brother of the late Hans Gruber, Simon came to New York with a serious grudge against the guy who dropped his bro out of the Nakatomi Building during the memorable 1988 Xmas Party.

Or, at least, that's what everyone was meant to believe. Just like his brother, as he was threatening innocent people with one hand, he was busy robbing them with the other. As the feds and NYPD were running around looking for bombs, Gruber and his gang were robbing Wall Street, making off with tons of gold. All the while, Simon would play his demented game of "Simon Says," leading McClane all over town, wasting his time with brain teasers and nursery rhymes. Instead of just killing McClane, Simon wanted to string him along in an attempt to embarrass him and the rest of the police department.

As McClane got closer to uncovering their plans, Simon's gang began to get tired of Simon and his games. Simon wouldn't give up, though, and eventually had McClane and the gold in his grasp. Were it not for his recurring migraines, Simon and his gang might have gotten away with everything. Good thing John McClane is a Detective, and always on duty.

Simon Gruber had a great criminal mind like his brother, and wasn't afraid to slip on a disguise or fight and shoot his way through adversaries. His greed and physical infirmities would lead him to ruin, however, and just like Hans, Simon would find himself on the losing end of a fight with John McClane.

INTELLIGENCE - 8: Elaborate plans and clever ruses no doubt run in the Gruber Family.

POWER - 6: Cut with a sleek frame and muscles, Simon also knew how to use a handgun or sniper rifle.

VILENESS - 8: Threatening NY school children, the cops, and the feds was just part of his game against John McClane.

SWAY - 8: Slightly more off-kilter than his brother, Simon's games and nursery rhymes were more than enough to give McLane and the NYPD fits.

PURITY - 8: Greed drove the main plans, but a dead brother gave Simon a reason to pick on McClane.

PHYSICAL - 5: Mysterious and muscular, Simon seemed more at home taunting enemies over the phone.


Posted by Destro at 10:05 AM

July 17, 2003

Hans Gruber

That Nakatomi Corporation Christmas Party of 1988 sure was one crazy party, huh? Well, if you didn't make it, you missed the appearance of the internationally-feared German terrorist Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) and his band of thieves taking over Nakatomi Tower and holding the entire company hostage. If it wasn't for the NYPD's own John McClane (Bruce Willis), things might have gotten really out of hand.

Hans Gruber was quite the mastermind, though, assembling a team capable of breaking through a number of high-level security measures to infiltrate the main vault in search of hundreds of millions of dollars of negotiable bearer bonds. On the way, he personally killed Joseph Takagi, the company CEO, and was deft enough to keep both the hostages and his own crew together while distractions like McClane were running around the building screwing things up for him. At one point, Hans would find himself on the wrong side of the building, coming face-to-face with McClane himself and pretending to be a company employee. It wasn't entirely believable, but it was strong enough to buy himself the opportunity to get back with his German compadres.

It was Hans Gruber who anticipated the FBI shutting down the building's power, thereby allowing his gang to open the vault. It was Hans Gruber who told his right-hand man Karl to "shoot the glass," inflicting further injury to McClane. And it was Hans Gruber who discovered McClane's wife was among the hostages, setting up a showdown between the thief and the cop with her caught in the middle. Unfortunately, it was Hans Gruber who fell out a window, ending his felonous plans, and setting up a little revenge story we like to call Die Hard with a Vengeance.

INTELLIGENCE - 8: Whether it's dealing with hostages or acting like one, Hans knows just buttons to push and always stays in charge.

POWER - 5: Average physical ability.

VILENESS - 8: The lives of hostages mean nothing to a man hoping to use their explosive demise for his own getaway.

SWAY - 9: Uses intimidation, scare tactics, even humor to get what he wants.

PURITY - 9: Terrorist? Thief? No matter what the label is, he is a murderous felon.

PHYSICAL - 5: His calm, cool, and collected delivery of every word outweighs the need for any classic villain costume.


Posted by Destro at 10:04 AM

May 10, 2002

Colonel Stuart

Any time a highly-decorated military genius gets pissed, movie civilians have to watch out. In The Rock, Alcatraz (and San Francisco) was held hostage by a General bent on retribution for the men who fell in battle before him. Jack Ryan once had to keep the world safe from a rebel Russian sub captain.

Renny Harlin's Die Hard 2 is no exception: a jilted Colonel with a master plan terrorizes a major airport in his quest to save a foreign military general from the clutches of the US Government.

For one of the best examples ever of an evil man who won't stand for one iota of resistance from the heroes, watch the scene where he "lands" the Irish plane. It's one of the most shudderingly vile acts by a villain in years. At that point, Col. Stuart had the good guys by the balls and was squeezing hard.

Then, John McClane happened.

That name seems to cause shudders even in the worst of villains, but Stuart (played by great veteran actor William Sadler) was up to the task of taking on Dulles Airport and McClane with his team of highly-trained troops and buckets full of mayhem. With his performance, the Colonel should consider himself highly-decorated by

INTELLIGENCE - 8: Highly-knowledgeable in military strategy and tactics. Had a great plan but never counted on John McClane.

POWER - 7: His strength is outmatched only by his fantastic skills in martial arts and weaponry.

VILENESS - 10: His destruction of the Irish plane ranks right up there with any vile act in the movies today. "We've got you..."

SWAY - 7: His entire unit followed him, turning their backs on their country for money. Even outranked the great John Amos.

PURITY - 8: Had the plan and followed it to the letter. Even improvised when he had to, all in the name of chaos.

PHYSICAL - 5: Beneath that icy cold stare is a chiseled body ready to kick anybody's ass. Overall, though, he's average.


Posted by Destro at 03:47 PM