John McClane fights to stop terrorists who are trying to free a drug
lord set to land at the same airport he's arrived at to pick up his wife.
Die Hard 2 (1990)
Directed by Renny Harlin
Written by Steven E. de Souza and Doug Richardson
Starring Bruce Willis, Bonnie Bedelia, William Atherton,
Reginald VelJohnson, Franco Nero, William Sadler,
John Amos, Dennis Franz, Art Evans, Fred Thompson,
Tom Bower, Sheila McCarthy, Don Harvey
Sequel to 1988’s Die Hard
Based on the novel 58 Minutes by Walter Wager
and on characters created by Roderick Thorp
As many know, sequels tend to go one of two ways. With a few exceptions, of course. There are the ones that build off the first film and find a way to continue the story in an engaging way. Then, there’s the other ones. The ones which decide to be more of a carbon copy of the original and end up falling short because of it. The former can be reserved for something like The Godfather: Part II. The latter can be applied to the very film I will be talking about, Die Hard 2 So, with that said, let’s get ready for a film which will hammer home the exact same story beats, but still find a way to deliver some fun, engaging action along the way.
Now, you’re probably wondering by what I mean with this entry being so tied to the same structure. Here’s a brief plot: John McClane is at the airport waiting for his wife’s plane to land for Christmas. Well, it just so happens that a terrorist group arrives at the same time to rescue a drug lord whose prison plane is set to land at the exact same airport. It also takes place on Christmas, again. Interesting how almost the same thing happens twice to our hero. The film even tries to make a joke about it with one line of dialogue, but it just makes the audience more aware of it. It also causes the film’s villain, played magnificently by the always reliable William Sadler, to fall short of greatness. Not all is lost, though, since Willis is still in top form and the action is as good as ever.
If this film wasn’t so tied to the original’s structure and story beats, it would be so much better. But, as it stands, it causes it to pale in the original’s shadow. Sure, our cast is great and the action quality is on par, but there’s still too much of a sense of the same old thing. Still, if you want to enjoy something different for Christmas, it doesn’t hurt to pair this one with the original.