Bottom Line: Something suspiciously similar to watching the first one again. A bit “hard” to comprehend.
Directed by: Renny Harlin
Starring: Bonnie Bedelia, Bruce Willis, William Atherton
Sequel to 1988 classic returns with John McClane (Bruce Willis), a New York cop and our story’s hero. It’s Christmas Eve again, and he is waiting for his wife in the Washington Dulles International Airport. When a group of terrorists begin to take over the airport and everyone inside it, he must take action.
The original DIE HARD is one of the best movies I have ever seen. With both explosive thrills and a sturdy plot (not to mention the strongly accessible character created by Bruce Willis), it instantly became a cinematic breakthrough. In no way is DIE HARD 2 a breakthrough of any kind. Here, we have almost the same thing as the first entry in the series: explosions, terrorists taking over a building (this time an airport rather than an office building), a Christmas placement, and a “yippee-ki-yay” or two.
What is worse about this sequel is that it’s virtually little more than a long, explosive, uneventful chase scene. Whereas in the first entry we had characters who were utterly terrified, antagonists who were happily menacing, and a protagonist who was surprisingly slick, the characters in this entry are emotionless and bland. Furthermore, the plot begins to fade away about halfway through the film, and we are left with explosion upon explosion.
Someone who hasn’t seen the original DIE HARD may love this sequel, just as someone who has seen it will likely be disappointed with the sequel. Move the setting from an office building to an airport, and change Alan Rickman to Bill Sadler. Broadly, those are the only two changes to be made for DIE HARD to become DIE HARD 2.