In support of Hans Gruber

During my annual festive re-watch of Die Hard, it occurred to me that it was about time that someone spoke up in favour of Hans Gruber. He has a bad reputation but I’m not sure it’s fully deserved.

Well planned
It was clear that he had planned his operation well. When things deviated, he was clear: “Keep to the plan.”

Enjoyed small talk
As he walked into the building he and his team were enjoying a good chit chat about this and that.

Knew his staff well
He knew for every impulsive irrational muppet like Karl, he needed someone to balance this out (Karl’s brother in this case). He knew the strengths and weaknesses of his team.

Equality and diversity
For a clearly Germany-based outfit, he had a diverse workforce and this should be celebrated. This is clearly one of the most diverse terrorist teams in movie history.

Hands on
He was happy to get stuck in. Shooting a guy in the head here, holding up a microphone to share the sound of screaming there, Hans was always keen to be involved at the ground level (or 30th floor as the case may be).

Good communicator
He recognises that it often helps to give orders in a second language when his comrades don’t understand the message in their first language – see the case of “Shoot the glass”.

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