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DIE HARD 2, 1990
Movie Review

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DIE HARD 2 MOVIE POSTER
DIE HARD 2 : Die Harder, 1990
Movie Reviews

Directed by Renny Harlin
Starring: Bruce Willis, William Atherton, William Sadler, Dennis Franz, Art Evans
Review by Kabir Shukla



Synopsis:

A group of terrorists have seized control of the Dulles Airport control tower. With his wifeís plane in the sky, John McClane must take out the terrorists before they down his wifeís flight. The conspiracy goes deeper than expected as McClane must figure out who he can trust and how he can get his wife safely on the ground.

Review:

If youíre going to see only one die hard, make sure itís not this one. Die Hard 2 is not a bad action movie in itself, but when compared to the other Die Hards, it doesnít compare. Even Bruce Willis said in an interview that Die Hard 2 was his least favorite of the four movies. But Iím not here to bash the movie. Whether it is good or not is a decision you have to make for yourself.

Letís take a look at the story.

It is Christmas Eve, one year after the events in Nakatomi Plaza. John McClane seems to have enjoyed his time at the building, because heís switched from the NYPD to the LAPD (but the movie takes place in Dulles Airport). McClane is there waiting for his wifeís flight to arrive so they can visit her mother in DC for the holidays. Once again, McClane displays his knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Also arriving in Dulles Airport that night is a flight carrying General Ramon Esperanza (who looks exactly like guy from the Dos Equis commercials). Prior to the events in this movie, Esperanza lead his countryís fight against communism. However, now he is known as a major international drug lord. He is being extradited to the US to face drug charges.

In the meantime, Colonel Stuart and his team of ex-commandos have hatched a plan to free Esperanza. They have seized control of the airportís control tower. Using a device to override communications to the flights in the air, Stuart is able to speak to the pilots of the inbound flights as if he were the control tower. Showing he is not bluffing, he crashes one flight into the ground. He demands a plane with a full tank of fuel for his men and Esperanza to escape. It must be ready and waiting when Esperanzaís flight arrives. If his demands are not met, he will down more flights.

McClane, realizing that it is only a matter of time before his wifeís flight is downed (or runs out of fuel from circling the airport), must take matters into his own hands. Similar to the first Die Hard, it is one against a hundred.

The characters:

McClane is his usual self. He is a street-smart cop always looking for something out of the ordinary. He is the first to suspect something is out of place at the airport. In addition to his ability to sniff out a crime, he has a Neo-like ability to dodge bullets. Automatic weapons are fired at him from close range and donít connect. This is just something that happens in action movies, and something that you will have to ignore. It happens in all movies, get used to it.

Like the first Die Hard, it is funny to see Willis with a full head of hair, showing only minimal signs of balding. But even in 1990, he had that badass no holds barred killer instinct, which has only been honed over the past two decades.

The fight scenes are gritty and suspenseful. The climactic battle, between McClane and Col. Stuart, is unique, though highly unrealistic. However, by this time, you will have suspended all realism, and will enjoy the fight for its imaginative conclusion.

In the first Die Hard, the script was very bare bones. Willis often ad-libbed on his own and that was truly what made John McClane so unique as a character. Realizing this, the writers and director encouraged Willis to improvise. It shows throughout, as he provides the on-time delivery of one-liners like he did in the previous movie. The only problem is, many of them are pretty cheesy and not really that funny. But it still suffices as it provides a distinction from all the other early 90ís action movies.

William Sadler plays Colonel Stuart. He looks like the lovechild of Dolph Lundgren from Rocky IV and Robert Patrick from Terminator 2 (he was the T-1000). It seems like an odd mix, but Sadlerís resemblance is uncanny. Robert Patrick actually makes a brief appearance so youíll see what I mean.

Colonel Stuart is an interesting character. He is cold, calculating, and crazy. His constant lack of emotion and sympathy throughout his operations lets you know that he has no qualms about taking innocent lives. You know that ultimately him and McClane will have to face each other, and you know that it wonít be easy for McClane to win.

The introduction to Stuart is unique as well. I could tell you what it is, but seeing it for yourself is better.

Fred Dalton Thompson plays the head of the traffic control tower and Dennis Franz plays the head of airport police. Dalton tries to help, where Franz gets angry at McClaneís every move. They play a role in the story, but nothing more than to provide the viewer with information and a slight conflict.

My take

It is a typical 90ís action movie sequel where the plot is essentially the same but in a new place. In the first one it was a building, now itís an airport. If you want some good action sequences, this will provide that for you. But like I said, if you are at the video store contemplating only one Die Hard to get, go with the original. Yippee-ki-yay.

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