Die Hard 2 – Die Harder

This is an archived article from my now-defunct NeonReviews website. Any qualities and/or information provided about the reviewed item must be seen in context of when it was originally published.

Distributor: Twentieth Century Fox
Genre: Action / Thriller
Availability: Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk
Related links: Official website for the Die Hard Collection (no longer available)
Additional information: Second part of the “Die Hard” triology. Die Hard (review), Internet Movie Database (IMDb) entry

Bruce Willis is back in the role of John McClane in the sequel to the original Die Hard movie, still around Christmas time, this time one year later, at Dulles airport in Washington D.C. For what reason, no-one knows. The thrill is still there, as well as some of the excitement, but the filmmakers didn’t quite get the chemistry right for this follow-up. What could’ve been a good movie had become a mediocre movie.

John McClane has a bad feeling about a couple of guys at the airport and decides to follow them into the airport’s luggage room to see what they’re up to. It ends up in a gunfight where he kills one of them, and as it turns out, this guy is already dead. Two years ago. And he has the record of a mercenary. Following this, the air traffic control tower loses all control of the airport and all contact with the airplanes coming in. Terrorists have taken over, and a known terrorist is on his way from a small (and fictional) country in the Latin America, originally extradited to the USA. As usual in a movie involving terrorists, their demand is the cliché of liberating another terrorist.

I didn’t enjoy this movie as much as the original movie, and from what I remember about the third movie in the triology, this must be the unnecessary one of them all. The blame can be mainly put on the plot and the script writers. All the actors did a fantastic job, but that doesn’t help the movie much when the people who put together the story behind it all did a lousy job. This was confirmed when I had a look at IMDb’s goofs page for this movie, and there are a lot of technology that has been entirely ignored. There are many redundancy options for air traffic controllers and airports in general to avoid situations such as this, even at the time this movie was made. The only ones who’ll believe the situation presented to us, are the ones who also will believe that the gibberish spoken in even older movies truly is in those foreign languages. And I do mean gibberish, no matter what language we’re talking about.

I would only recommend this movie to die hard fans of the Die Hard movies and Bruce Willis.

As a side note, you’ll notice a few faces that has turned up in later well-known movies and TV series. It makes me think that these actors’ careers really must’ve gotten a boost by this movie. Among the terrorists, you’ll notice Robert Patrick (“Terminator 2” as T-1000, “The X-Files” as Agent John Doggett), Vondie Curtis-Hall (“Chicago Hope” as Dr. Dennis Hancock, “Broken Arrow” as Lt. Col. Sam Rhodes) and John Leguizamo (“Moulin Rouge!” as Toulouse Lautrec, “Ice Age” as the voice of Sid). Also recognizable are Dennis Franz (“NYPD Blue” as Andy Sipowicz), Art Evans (“Metro” as Lt. Sam Baffett), John Amos (“The District” as Mayor Ethan Backer) and Fred Dalton Thompson (U.S. Senator for Tennessee 1994-2002).


Story interest: ★★★★☆☆ 

Plot development: ★★★★★☆ 

Characters: ★★★★★☆ 

Credibility: ★★★★☆☆ 

Visual effects: ★★★★★☆ 


Overall: ★★★★☆☆