Film: Die Hard
Time of death: 1 hour, 40 minutes and 12 seconds
Of course the first thing anyone wants to tell you about Uli is that Uli had a hell of a sweet tooth. Well, sure — guilty as charged. The man liked his candy. Crunch bar, Snickers, Baby Ruth, Mars bar, Twix, Almond Joy, Bit-O-Honey: if there was a candy bar within reach, Uli was reaching for it. But don’t let that define him. Uli was a lot more than that. A lot of people don’t know the whole Uli. For starters, he was a bit of a loner, despite the line of work he was in. Don’t get me wrong, he was always up for a job, liked to be part of a crew, and he could always do what was asked of him, whether it was stringing explosives cable across a roof, or corralling and herding the hostages, or just, you know, shooting to wound. A lot of guys — and we all know this — you instruct them ‘Just wound them,’ and, well, they’re going to ‘slip’. Guys like Marco and Fritz? Are you kidding me? Heinrich? Those guys are plain nuts. Cannot resist the kill-shot. But Uli wasn’t about kill-shots. He was about getting the job done right.
So maybe he kept to himself. It’s not that he wasn’t social — he liked to laugh, and he could tell a good joke, and he loved to talk about his moustache. But it’s hard when you’re in a gang of high-stakes international thieves posing as terrorists, because hey, sure, it’s kind of a mixed bag of people — a few Americans, a lot of Germans, maybe one Italian and one guy who looks a lot like Huey Lewis — but most of those guys, let’s face it, guys like Karl, his brother Tony, Heinrich, Kristof, and, of course, Hans Gruber, they’re always talking to each other in German, and really, if you’re Uli, you’re kind of left on the outside. You’re kind of always trying to laugh at their German jokes and get their weird German references, and not let on that really you only just figured out, like two days ago, that ‘va schnell’ means ‘go quicker’.
But his philosophy was, Hey, I’m here to do a job, but that doesn’t mean I can’t have a little fun. You’re sitting by a candy counter waiting to ambush a swat team? Why not grab a Crunch bar? He just liked to recognize those kinds of gifts when life presented them to him. And isn’t that something we could all learn from him?
We can miss him, and we can mourn him, but he knew the risks. That’s what this job is. One moment you’re enjoying a sweet treat, or herding a bunch of screaming hostages on to the roof, then the next you open a door, and bam. Or, rather, bam bam bam bam bam. All because one cowboy cop decided to run around with bloody feet and shoot every person who happens to open a door and not really bother to say, Hey, who is this guy?
Who is Uli?
Maybe he’s just trying to do his job, just like me?
Nope. Just bam bam bam bam bam.
Well, Uli, old friend, grab one last Crunch Bar, on me. Then get your ass to heaven, buddy. Schnell. Va schnell.