Sunday, December 30, 2012

MR Die Harder

John McClane just seems to be getting stuck in the wrong place at the wrong moment time after time.
But no matter, he'll use his smarts and any means he deem necessary to save the day from terrorists.

Movie: Die Hard 2: Die Harder 
Directed by Renny Harlin
Release date 1990
Genre Action thriller
Country USA

Die Hard 2: Die Harder is the direct sequel to John McTiernan's 1988 classic.
This time around it was directed by veteran cineast Renny Harlin perhaps best known for the fourth A Nightmare on Elm Street, the 1993 classic Cliffhanger and one of my all-time favorites, Deep Blue Sea.

This time the movie was based on a novel by Walter Wager titled 58 Minutes.
The movie itself was written by Street Fighter movie's director Steven E. de Souza and Doug Richardson.
The actual movie itself doesn't differ much from the original novel, except that it putts McClane in the role of the cop that must stop the terrorists that have taken the airport hostage and save his wife stuck midair on a plane with only 58 minutes left before the crash.

The action takes place on Christmas Eve once again like in Die Hard 1.
John McClane was just picking up his wife Holly in Washington DC when he notices some strange occurrences around.
Long story short, McClane ends up playing cowboy around, shots some bad guys and gets into trouble with the local police forces.

So much to say that McClane gets yet once again in the middle of a giant terrorist coup...or is it?
At least McClane can count on his LAPD friend Al Powell. After running some prints he starts to unravel a more complicated military scheme with supposedly "dead" officers and traitors using the cover of hostages situations to do their bidding.

What have you gotten into again, John?

While it might be remembered with such fondness as the first movie, it was an admirably successful big action film from the late 80s/early 90s.
The movie ended up actually becoming the highest grossing entry of the series in the US (so far).

The story might sound a bit simpler/more cliché but it is an equally fun film to enjoy as the original.
Sure, the odds of such a thing happening to a man twice is stretching it a bit (but with currently 5 movies in the series, you might want to throw "realism" out of the window...).
At least the situations are as fun and the villains charismatic enough.

If the director changed, most of the cast and crew returned around the camera.
Bruce Willis is still on top of his game. He makes the film, be it with his quirks and catchphrases - the movie is as quotable as the first Die Hard.
Reginald VelJohnson returned once more. I still wish we could have those two together on screen once during one of these movies...
Bonnie Bedelia also returned, reprising her role as Holly McClane/Gennero. She actually carries much of the film on her shoulder, a third of the scenes taking place in the plane as to weight the consequences of what is going on in the ground.
And the obnoxious reporter Richard Thornburg is also back, with a William Atherton doing his best with what could have been quite an annoying character.
Let's not also forget the others, the newcomers to the series such as Art Evans, the "uncooperative" Dennis Franz or the frightening cruel William Sadler.
And the janitor Marvin, aka Tom Bower almost steals the scenes with Willis.

The movie might not have the cleverness or such twists as the first one, but it's a "terrific entertainment" as film critic Roger Ebert put it.

It certainly one of the best possible sequels they could have made with the available material.
The movie uses a ton of great practical effects and some clever early digital composited live-action footage. Made nowadays, I can't imagine how awful they could have butchered this one.

Terrorists take over Dulles International Airport, and only McClane can and will stop them.
You have to wonder how things would have turned out if he wasn't there at the right time - or the wrong time as he would say it.

 "Yippee Ki Yay, All over again!"

Overall, it's a terrific film.
A very fun entertaining experience.

"Look who's back in the wrong place at the right time."

But since it's only the second installment, it gets a pass for putting Holly again in an hostage situation, on Christmas again no less, still out of his element in NYC and with "fake" terrorists hiding a more complex scheme.
John McClane is just that unlucky.

A very fun huis clos that plays with its closed door-location being a huge airport.
Easily one of the best "mindless" action blockbuster of the early 90s.

I give it:
2.5 / 3 Films!


  1. I don't think there is a bad Die Hard movie. They're all awesome, imo.

    1. Well, you ain't gonna like whatI have to say about DH4 then...