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The 411 Douchebag of the Week: Die Hard Characters

December 21, 2015 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz

The 411mania Douchebag of the Week

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the latest edition of The 411 Douchebag of the Week. I’m Bryan Kristopowitz.

With Christmas only days away, I’ve decided to forgo the usual Douchebag of the Week format and instead focus on the modern holiday classic movie Die Hard, a movie I’m sure plenty of you will partake in this week before Santa shows up with his bag of toys and whatnot. Die Hard, directed by John McTiernan and starring Bruce Willis in his breakout star making role as badass New York cop John McClane, is one of the greatest action movies ever made and still influential almost thirty years later (it also has four sequels, two of them awesome, two of them not so awesome. I don’t think I have to name the awesome ones and the not so awesome ones, do I? Isn’t it obvious?). But then I’m sure you all know that. Do you know who the ultimate douchebag in Die Hard is, though? Read on to find out.

Now, instead of naming the top douchebag and then the honorable mentions, I’m going to name the honorable mentions first and then, when all four of those award winners are exposed, I’m going to reveal the ultimate winner. You know, to build up a little suspense. Die Hard has that in it, too. Suspense.


The 411mania Douchebag of the Week: The Die Hard Christmas Edition

This week’s honorable mentions:


Deputy Police Chief Dwayne T. Robinson: Portrayed by the now late but always great Paul Gleason, Deputy Chief Robinson is nothing more than a preening buffoon who, despite his high position within the Los Angeles Police Department, is clearly out of his depth. He refuses to believe anything Patrolman Al Powell says or relays to him from McClane, he doesn’t trust McClane at all (he thinks that he could be one of the terrorists), he tries to impress the FBI agents that show up to monitor the situation by asserting his alleged authority and making sure that his suit jacket is buttoned up (I’m shocked he didn’t ask for a breath mint), and he freaks out when McClane sets off an explosion that showers the crowd on the street with glass. Yes, a glass attack from the sky is bad, but you shouldn’t bad mouth the only good guy in the building full of hostages. That’s just stupidity.

Deputy Chief Robinson is the third part of the Paul Gleason 1980’s Douchebag Trifecta, with his Clarence Beaks from 1983’s Trading Places and his Richard Vernon from 1985’s The Breakfast Club the other two parts. If you want to know how to be a douchebag, watch all three performances. You’ll learn everything you need to know.


Special Agent Johnson/Agent Johnson: The great Robert Davi and Grand Bush portray these two smug federal agents who seem to think they know everything there is to know about terrorist attacks, hostage situations, and how to handle both of them. Of course, we know that terrorist criminal mastermind Hans Gruber is way ahead of them, anticipating their every move, so it makes both of them look even dumber. And look at the way they died. Why would they send up an attack helicopter and try to shoot any terrorists on the roof? And why would they, meaning Johnson and Johnson, go themselves? Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Davi and Bush are very funny in the movie and show, in what amounts to a fairly small part, that they know how to make an impact regardless of their amount of screen time. Davi yelling at the poor utility worker played by Rick Ducommun is a classic moment (I’ve always been a fan of Davi using the F word. I’d love to see Davi and James Woods have an “F” word off one day. I bet it would be hilarious). And Bush has always had a knack for comedy (he was in the second episode of Police Squad!).

Bush and Davi appeared in the James Bond flick Licence to Kill and the B-movie classic Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence). They need to do another movie together. They really do.


Richard Thornburg: Portrayed by the William Atherton, Thornburg is a sleazy local reporter who will do absolutely anything to get his story, even if that means putting people in jeopardy. Of course, Thornburg believes he’s a soldier for the truth and the public trust, which is just bullshit. He just wants the story. He oh so deserves that punch to the face at the end of the movie. And, yes, the camera man did get that.

Much like Gleason, Atherton has three classic 1980’s douchebag roles, with his unscrupulous professor Jerry Hathaway in Real Genius and his asshole EPA agent Water Peck in Ghostbusters the other two. Which character is the douchiest of the three? Honestly, it likely fluctuates depending on which movie you just saw. Thornburg is the douchiest right now. Tomorrow? Who knows?

Who else loves how McClane’s wife Holly uses her Taser on Thornburg in the plane bathroom in Die Hard 2?


Theo: Played by Clarence Gilyard Jr., Theo is the terrorist tech guy and drill master. He doesn’t do much in the movie beyond operate the drill drilling into the Nakatomi vault and monitor the grounds around Nakatomi Tower, but he achieves third place because of one absolutely heinous thing. What is that one thing? His “And the quarterback is toast!” line. Yes, it is sort of funny the first time you hear it, like the second you hear it, but then, in retrospect, it isn’t all that funny. And then it’s just annoying with each subsequent viewing.

Do you think, if he managed to get out of the garage in the ambulance with Hans that Hans would have allowed him to live? I’d imagine that Hans would have shot him in the head the second they were far enough away from the crime scene. Or do you think he was such a trusted member of the Hans Gruber team that Hans would have allowed him to live and help in the planning of their next big scheme?


Hans Gruber: If criminal mastermind Gruber had just come up with a scheme to steal the loot from the Nakatomi vault and just did that without attempting to kill scores of innocent people and blow up a major skyscraper in downtown Los Angeles he wouldn’t be on the list. But that was his scheme, steal the loot, kill a bunch of people by blowing up the building, and then ride off with the loot, assumed dead. What a horrible, horrible person. And shooting Mr. Takagi (James Shigeta) after talking to him about men’s fashion and whatnot and sending a pregnant woman to her doom is just so damn cruel. Just because he wants to be mega rich. What a fucking douchebag. I love it when he falls to his death.

Shoot the glass. The way he eats that chicken or whatever the hell it is right after taking everyone inside the building hostage. His list of political prisoners (“Asian Dawn Movement? I read about them in Time Magazine). It’s all there. Man, what a douchebag.

Alan Rickman is just so awesome in this movie. It’s the role of his career (so far. He could possibly surpass it one day. He probably won’t, though. He’s just that good in the movie). And while he’s absolutely reprehensible, you still like watching him be a piece of shit bad guy. That “Asian Dawn Movement” bit is hilarious.

And finally, this week’s 411 Douchebag of the Week: Die Hard Christmas Edition goes to



Harry Ellis.

I mean, how could it be anyone else? A coked up yuppie prick who thinks he’s smarter than everyone else in the world because he negotiates major deals with big time businessmen all of the time. He thinks he’s helping when all he’s doing is putting everyone, especially himself, in danger. All he had to do was wait and he probably would have managed to get out of the building alive. But he just couldn’t wait. He had to try to negotiate with Hans and the other ruthless killers.

My God, what a giant fucking douchebag.

Do you think he enjoyed that last sip of soda before he was shot in the head?


Well, that’s Douchebag of the Week: The Die Hard Christmas Edition. I hope you liked it. Thanks for reading.

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Merry Christmas!

Happy Holidays!