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Simon Gruber

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Congratulations. You're still alive.
~ Simon Gruber to John McClane
Simon says.
~ Simon Gruber's most famous line

Simon Peter Gruber is the main antagonist in the 1995 action film Die Hard with a Vengeance. He is an East German Special Forces colonel turned terrorist and the brother of Hans Gruber.

He is portrayed by Jeremy Irons, who also portrays Randall Bragg and Scar.

Biography

Simon begins his plan by blowing up a department store in New York City. While the NYPD are trying to deal with this act of terrorism, Simon phones police Inspector Walter Cobb, claiming responsibility for the bomb. He then tells Cobb that he wants to play a game of "Simon Says" with Lieutenant John McClane, or another bomb will go off. He instructs McClane to go to Harlem wearing a sign board that says "I Hate N****rs". The police drop McClane off in Harlem dressed only in the sign and his boxers. Before McClane can be attacked by a street gang, a local eletrical store owner Zeus Carver intervenes and rescues him.

The two return to the police headquarters. "Simon," annoyed that Carver has interfered with his "well laid plan," sends both Carver and McClane on a wild goose chase around New York City, telling them the location of bombs that will blow up if the two don't reach them and solve Simon's riddles. "Simon" is eventually revealed to be Simon Gruber, the elder brother of Hans Gruber, whom McClane dropped off the 32nd story of the Nakatomi Plaza. He has singled out McClane because of his involvement in the death of his brother, and at first it seems revenge is his primary motivation. It later becomes clear, however, that Simon shares his brother's pragmatism; he is not interested in terrorism and actually intends to steal $140 billion worth of gold bullion from the Federal Reserve Bank. The bombs scattered throughout the city merely act as a distraction.

Simon Gruber

Simon Gruber during his first meeting with John McClane and Zeus

When the gold is stolen, and deposited in dump trucks, Simon's henchmen flee to Canada, while Simon remains behind with his personal guard. Simon informs the police that the gold is on a ship off Long Island, which he intends to blow up, thus distributing the gold across the seabed. However, the ship contains only scrap metal, while the gold is in the dump trucks heading to Canada. When McClane and Carver make an attack on the boat, they are captured and handcuffed to a pole, with the bomb intended to blow the ship sitting directly next to them. Simon reveals that whilst he disliked his brother, he will kill McClane anyway for repeatedly meddling with his plans (he also admits that he did want revenge for his brother's death: "There's a difference, you know, between not liking one's brother and not caring when some dumb Irish flatfoot drops him out of a window."). He then leaves for Canada with the rest of his henchmen, leaving McClane and Carver to die on the boat.
Simon's death

Simon is electrocuted inside his helicopter after McClane shoots down a power line and finally Simon and his henchwoman died

In Canada, Simon and his henchmen celebrate the successful heist, but are interrupted by the police (including McClane and Carver, who escaped the boat moments before it exploded). Whilst the soldiers leave to battle the police, Simon and his girlfriend Katya set off in a helicopter to kill McClane once and for all. With Katya piloting, Gruber shoots McClane's helicopter down with an M60 machine gun. As the pilot lands, McClane runs into the open, knowing that Simon only wants to kill him. Simon aims at McClane but before he can kill him, McClane shoots a fusebox on a power line telling Simon to "Say hello to your brother.", sending a live wire into the rotating blades of the helicopter, electrocuting Simon and Katya and causing them to crash the helicopter into a pylon which then explodes.

Alternate ending

In the original ending, Simon succeeds in the heist and McClane is left to take the blame. Simon is then seen sitting in a secret cafe somewhere in Europe. McClane appears and after initial banter, McClane forces Simon to disarm with a bomb of his own, then play a game of "McClane says", which involves Simon spinning a modified chinese rocket launcher, which has had it's directional markings removed, and to answer riddles. Simon soon answers a riddle wrong and is forced at gunpoint to fire the rocket launcher. It fires in Simon's direction, killing him. McClane had been wearing a flak jacket, in case it was fired in the other direction.

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