If it wasn't for the unlikely intervention of a local shopkeeper named Zeus (Samuel L. Jackson), McClane would have been killed or seriously injured by a Harlem street gang -- sure, he had a concealed gun strapped to his back for safety, but the first thing the gangsters do is break a bottle on McClane's head and reveal the weapon, which is quickly grabbed by Zeus. Had Zeus not been there, that would have been one of the gang members.
"Please, wait! Haven't you guys ever seen that Chris Rock routine?"
The success of Simon's Federal Reserve heist depends entirely on the authorities believing his fake revenge scheme as a distraction. After the Harlem incident, Simon's next game involves sending McClane across town to chase after a bomb on a subway. When the bomb goes off, no one notices that it has disabled the Federal Reserve Bank's alarm system and given Simon an opening to break into their vault.
It's actually a pretty ingenious plan ... except for the part where Simon almost made McClane a casualty of racially motivated gang violence and ruined everything. Couldn't he have just forced McClane to do something less likely to get himself killed, such as streaking naked through Chelsea?
Considering that McClane only survived the Harlem ordeal because of Zeus' intervention, it actually might have been a neat twist if Zeus had been working for Simon all along and was serving as McClane's protector.
He wanted revenge for his brother, Argyle.
Robin Warder is the co-owner of the pop culture website The Back Row.
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