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Die Hard 2: Die Harder

What She Said:


 John McClane is back, and he’s not goofing around.  McClane is spending the holidays in Washington, D.C., and is at the airport waiting to pick-up his wife, Holly.  Of course, the Mrs. is running late.  And it’s a good thing, too, because when a terrorist high-jacking related to the extradition of Ramon Esperanza (he’s a bad guy, trust me) breaks loose, Dulles Airport needs John McClane to kick some villain tush.  Like the last Die Hard movie, the cops seem to be largely incompetent.  They want McClane out of the way when he’s really the only person with a plan for taking down the badies.  Will McClane be able to save the day once again?  How many lives will be lost in the meantime?

Die Hard 2: Die Harder
Released in 1990, this sequel to the 1988 cult classic rehashes a lot of the feel of the original.  In fact, it’s very much the same; just a different venue.  McClane gets beat to snot as he navigates the back corridors of Dulles and one-by-one picks off the villains.  There are bigger explosions and more lives at stake, but you know McClane isn’t going to let everyone die.  Is the movie extremely predictable?  Yes.  But it’s also pretty funny and oozes ‘90s cheese.  I admit, there were several moments in the storyline where I totally asked, “Why would they do this instead of doing that???”  Lots of illogical and downright idiotic moves.  But it’s all essential to get to the ultimate payoff, and that is having McClane rise up and succeed as the hero.  I do wish it were smarter; however, I’m somewhat forgiving.

Bruce Willis embodies John McClane—tough talking, blue collar, and no nonsense.  He must smoke 200 cigarettes in this movie.  It’s not the best of the series, and certainly not my favorite action movie, but Die Hard 2: Die Harder serves as meaningless fodder.

Thumbs mostly up.




What He Said:


It’s Christmas Eve in the Die Hard universe and that could only mean one thing: John McClane’s shitty luck is about to rear its ugly head once again! Two years after the events of the first movie (review here) McClane (Bruce Willis) finds himself at Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C. Well it turns out he’s not alone, because there’s also a whole shit load of bad guys waiting to unleash their evil plans.

William Sadler plays Colonel Stuart. Colonel Stuart is a former member of the U.S. Special Forces. He has radical beliefs and has aligned himself with General Ramon Esperanza; a drug kingpin and dictator. Esperanza (Franco Nero) is being extradited to the U.S. to stand trial on drug trafficking charges. Oh and did I mention that when Stuart left the military his men went with him? Yeah, he’s got a whole slew of professionally trained killers who share his radical beliefs at his disposal. Who is McClane compared to bunch of trained killers? Well as we find out in the first movie, he’s kind of a thorn in their side. Or should I say icicle to the eye? Thank you, thank you, I’m here all week!

McClane is only there to pick up his wife Holly – who still travels a lot due to her job. Holly (Bonnie Bedelia) is due to land when her flight – as well as several others – are informed they are unable to land due to some kind of complication. That complication is Colonel Grant and his plan to free General Esperanza from military custody. McClane eventually figures this out, but he can’t seem to convince anybody else.

Head of airport police – Captain Carmine Lorenzo – thinks McClane is overreacting and a gloryhound due to his history. You see, because of the events of the first film, McClane has become something of a celebrity. Lorenzo (Dennis Franz) thinks he is a trigger-happy hotshot who is eager to claim the spotlight again. Unfortunately for him, that isn’t McClane’s style and his airport really is under siege by terrorists. Even when he realizes this, Lorenzo and company are hesitant to include McClane.

Eventually, the military steps in and is led by Major Grant (Jon Amos). He leads a counter terrorism unit and takes McClane a lot more seriously than Lorenzo; who is now viewed as the pain in the ass McClane was for the first 30 or so minutes.

Die Hard 2 is pretty much the same scenario as the first one except at it’s an airport instead of a skyscraper. It also suffers from some severe lapses in logic. You find yourself saying, “Wait why did they just…” several times throughout the movie. Yet somehow, I find myself not caring. It’s still funny, has some nice twists along the way, familiar faces, and manages to be completely insane in the action department. Bruce Willis was simply born to play John McClake and director Renny Harlin (Cliffhanger and The Long Kiss Goodnight) somehow manages to add more entertaining action to a series that was already teeming with it. The villain is also VERY GOOD. William Sadler may not have been as charismatic as Alan Rickman in the original, but the guy is scary as hell. Imagine someone as efficient and calculating as Hans Gruber, but a guy who can actually do the stuff he hires henchmen to do. This dude is a bad MFer. Dennis Franz had great chemistry with Willis. Their characters are at each other’s throats most of the movie and it works quite well. Stuff like that makes up for the shaky plot. It’s also great to see Bonnie Bedelia, William Atherton, and Reginald VelJohnson return to their roles from the first film.

Rating: Thumbs up.

This movie review was originally written for your reading pleasure on August 17, 2012. It was updated on January 7, 2019.