It’s important that you know right up front that I did not come here today to say Die Hard with a Vengeance is a better movie than Die Hard, although the two John McClane (Bruce Willis) adventures are closer in quality than you might remember. Alas, there aren’t many movies, period, that are better than Die Hard. Not many things, overall, in the world, including the hypothetical birth of my first child. I’m also not gonna’ say that Jeremy Irons‘ performance as Simon Gruber is “better” than Alan Rickman‘s performance as Hans Gruber. Comparing a Rickman performance to an Irons performance is like comparing thunder to lightning; never presume you understand the work of the gods enough to hold one against the other. Both these men have voices that sound like smooth jazz being played through the speakers of a Mad Max war rig. These are not the facts we’ve come to debate.
The Brothers Gruber are two of the best action movie villains of all time, but what the data shows, objectively studied, on an impartial Gruber Scale, is that Irons’ Simon Gruber is simply the Superior Gruber. It’s truth. It’s fact. It isn’t just hard science.
It’s Die Hard science.