6 March 2001 | Old Joe
Dying Just Got That Little Harder!
I have watched many movies where they have had a sequel which left me disappointed and uneasy, but the sequel to the smash, Die Hard, Die Hard 2 (Die Harder) was what think a sequel should be - more of what made the first film so successful. So its all out war for unlucky Police Detective named McClane, in a heart-stopping, jet-propelled journey through excitement and terror.
On a snowy Christmas Eve in the nation's capital, a team of terrorist have seized a major international airport, and now holds thousands of holiday travellers hostage. The terrorists, a renegade band of crack military commandos led by murderous rogue officer, have come to rescue a drug lord from justice. They've prepared for every contingency, except one: John McClane, an off-duty cop seized by a feeling of deadly deja vu. The heroic cop not only has to battle terrorists, but also an incompetent airport police chief, the hard headed commander of the army's anti-terrorist squad and a deadly winter snowstorm. The runways are littered with death and destruction, and McClane is in a race against time. His wife is trapped on one of the planes circling somewhere overhead, desperately low on fuel!
Die Hard 2 makes Bruce Willis look better and better. The role of John McClane is one filled with the fight for right and to trying to stop the bad guys. Again a lot of the stunts would have been done by Willis considering the professionalism of the man. Running all over an airport in a fierce snowstorm, fighting scenes on the wing of a real 747 jet and trying to save lives he has no attachment to, L.A. cop John McClane puts his body on the line, so justice is served and so did the actor Bruce Willis in my view to bring a great action movie back for a second time. Willis is one of my favourite actors, but I have only started to watch his movies in about the last 2-3 years and what a mistake that has been.
This film has more freedom as it is held at an airport. McClane is like I have said all over the place. The freedom and space this story has makes this film much easier to watch. Another thing which is impressive about Die Hard 2 is the effort to put more thrills in the movie. The snow (which of course is man made) has a major role, so do all the planes making quite a crisis on their hands. Not only do they fight on the wing of a 747, but also fly a real helicopter on the wing of the plane also. The scene where McClane ejects himself from the exploding plane is another favourite scene of mine. Other parts of this movie which stunned me I wont tell you about as it will give too much away, but trust me they are exceptionally done.
Again the bad guys have a major role in this one. William Saddler is Colonial Stuart, a heartless leader, who only cares that a drug lord escapes and can get in on all the money making scheme. I loved his role in this. Another face that I remember in Die hard 2 who was a bad guy is Robert Patrick. I loved his role in Terminator 2. But the conflict between the good guys is extremely tense. Especially between McClane and Police Officer Lorenzo played by L.A law star Dennis Franz. It is hard to understand if this character is on the side for good or not.
Here comes another analogy on Die Hard 2, do you ever know who is on the side of good or bad? Well for at least three quarters of the film it is unsure. The storywriters need to be commended because the story left me intrigued and when you think you know what is about to happen, the circumstances change. Also having a different director, gave this sequel new prospective. Director Renny Harlin threw his hand into the ring. What a gamble? An unknown director, but to my surprise I say that it worked. His other films worth mentioning include A Nightmare on Elm Street 4 and Cliffhanger.
So overall Die Hard 2 was extremely enjoyable sequel to watch. The story, the characters and the situation are all of a great tension, which I love in a movie. So one cop who is so vulnerable and emotional ends up being the one person who you would most like to have save your life. Like Willis said in an interview Die Hard 2 - Die Harder - it's bigger, badder and louder. I will leave you with one question, the first Die Hard had approximately 20 people die, can you count for me how many perish in this film? It is quite a turn around!
Rating: 4/5 or 9/10