After Hans Gruber's gang seizes control of Nakatomi Plaza in Die Hard, Hans and several henchmen accompany Joseph Takagi to his office and this is said:

Hans Gruber: Theo has some questions for you. Sort of 'fill in the blanks' questions.
Joseph Takagi: (sees computer screen with log-in) I don't have that code! You broke in here to access our computer? Any information you could get, when they wake up in the morning, they'll change it. You won't be able to blackmail our executives..

The only thing I can conclude from that is that Nakatomi is involved in illegal activities.

It seems strange given that just before this, while Takagi still thinks the group are terrorists, Hans is admiring a scale model of a bridge in a project in Indonesia, Takagi protests that they are doing it for the good of the people - which Hans readily accepts.

Admittedly Holly's associate is caught red handed (or more accurately 'white nosed') while snorting some cocaine in her office, but I don't see why Nakatomi would be putting that type of information into their computer.

Was Nakatomi corp. involved in illegal activity, or is there some other explanation I might have missed that accounts for the 'blackmail' comment?


2 Answers 2


Blackmail simply requires that Gruber gets access to sensitive information which others would want to keep secret. Industrial secrets, plans, financial data, passwords and the like were, no doubt, in the computer system and could be used as leverage against executives in return for payoffs. There needn't be anything illegal discovered -- the legal, proprietary and private stuff would be reason to pay off a cyber criminal.


Why not? Simon Gruber, Hans' brother, picked his target, the USA (Fort Knox), out of consideration for the rest of the world citing reasons of wanting to "level the playing field". He apparently wants to do good by hurting the bad USA.

Hans, which he obviously cared for, had a similar cause. He wanted to punish Nakatomi for "[their] legacy of greed around the globe". Simon seems to pick up Hans's strategy after his death: make threats to harm innocent people unless justice is served his group of idealists, when in truth he is just performing a heist.

To me, both brothers display some kind of twisted morale where they justify their crimes by only stealing from, and murdering, people they perceive as bad. Hans perceives Nakatomi as bad, probably because they are bad, and he has no issues holding the building hostage, killing employees and robbing it.

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