Die Hard 2 (1990) Poster

(1990)

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10/10
Die Hard 2 is my all time personal favorite Action film an underrated
ivo-cobra84 October 2015
Die Hard 2 in my opinion is my third favorite decent action flick in a "Die Hard" series and a good movie to watch. It is one of my personal favorite action movies. It is one of the most underrated "Die Hard" films in the series and that not a bad one. His wife again a hostage, Christmas again, the same reporter from the 1st film, now a janitor Marvin is a helper instead of Argyle and so on. As far as sequels go, Die Hard 2 is excellent. Of course it isn't better than the first, but sequels rarely are. This film is like going to a circus: you sit back and watch crazy stuff happen, laugh, cheer, joke, and just have a good time. Bruce Willis gives a great performance in the lead, we have some solid villains, and some brilliant action set pieces. I say check it out.

I'm not one to subtract points for a lack of realism, or "real world believability" in films. Because of that, Die Hard 2 poses a very interesting case study for me. Real world believability is very difficult to not think about when watching this film. Why wouldn't the planes just reroute to other nearby airports? There are a bunch less than an hour's flight away, including Baltimore, Philadelphia, the three New York City-area airports, and so on. Why wouldn't they be able to call another close airport, or the Pentagon, or somewhere else nearby to have them contact the planes? They're near Washington, D.C., after all (don't forget that Dulles is 26 miles away from D.C., in Virginia, making it unlikely that planes out of fuel would begin "dropping on the White House lawn"). It seems like maybe this film should have been set somewhere like Salt Lake City, Utah instead. Why wouldn't they be able to show the runways through some other means, like a line of emergency or police vehicles with their sirens on? If the "terrorists" started shooting at the vehicles, or trying to blow them up, at least they'd be given an indication where the fire is coming from/given their location. Just how likely would it be that there's a big storm in the area on the day when General Ramon Esperanza (Franco Nero) is being extradited? How likely is it that he'd be extradited on Christmas Eve? Why the hell is John standing out on the runway in the snow waving a couple of flaming poles--just what does he think that will do?

Die Hard 2 is still awesome movie and sequel to the first one for me and I don't know why people are saying it is the worst one or why they hate it. I don't, I love it, more than the first one I love it. In 2005 was my first best action movie than the first one. What I love about this film is they show John McClain more as a human being. In the beginning at the airport when his car was taken away at the airport, the whole movie show's an actual terror the villains are more of a threat cause they're actual terrorists! The Action sequences are awesome, there is barely any Cgi in it, John McClane is again in another elevator shafts. I love the plot twist that was wonderful, the snow in the film, the mobile snow chase whit McClane was awesome. This film is not perfect It is good, it has some problems in it. Always enjoyed watching it. The problems for the airport I already mentioned, the most annoying to me was after McClane kills the henchman when he was saving Leslie Barnes he pushed a terrorist of the latter and that latter tower falls on a terrorist you can see that it is a dummy from close that should not been seen from close camera.

It is still It is one of my personal favorite action movies mostly in the winter when it is snowing. The first movie was hug success, Renny Harlin's job by making this movie make it even harder for him, to find a good story, and make a snow because they didn't had any actual snow at the time it was really hard.

I love it. The facts I love: Chase with the Snowmobile, shooting with blanks on Carmine Lorenzo, fights on an airplane, double cross, John's jokes... The General Esperanza on airplane from Val Verde the same country was named in Schwarzenegger's movie Commando, John's shooting with snowmobile, than John's fight by the church. Movie to me is really awesome. I enjoy watching Die Hard 2. 10/10 Grade: Bad-Ass Seal Of Approval It is my second favorite Die Hard film in the series.
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9/10
A Total Thrill Ride
ReelCheese10 March 2007
Bruce Willis takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin', nearly outdoing himself in one of the great actioneers of our time. DIE HARD 2 has everything a true action fan could ever want: explosions, chases, plot twists, suspense, drama and all that other good stuff.

Just two years after his last near-death adventure, John McClane (what a great action hero name) battles bad guys who take over an airport's communication system around the holidays. Unless their demands are met, they will unceremoniously plummet planes to the ground one by one -- including one on which Mrs. McClane (Bonnie Bedelia) is a passenger. Of course Johnny, he of wise-cracking ways, is the only one who can save the day.

Like its predecessor, set almost entirely in a skyscraper, DIE HARD 2 makes the most out of its setting. McClane is as multi-purpose as can be, chasing mercenaries through luggage conveyors, grasping onto aircraft wings, running out onto the runway and, in a truly awesome scene, ejecting from a plane a split second before it bursts into flames. Throw in a snowmobile chase, the standard trip through the air ducts and a legitimate, interesting motivation for the crooks and you have a total thrill ride guaranteed to recharge your batteries.

Efforts like DIE HARD 2 won't win any major awards, but they'll do what films are supposed to do: thrust us into another world and entertain us. This is truly Willis and director Renny Harlin at their best.
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You can't get too much of a good thing
trevor-415 March 2001
For those who argue that Die Hard 2 is a desperate re-hash of the original... So what? I didn't expect a companion piece like The Godfather Part II. Die Hard was about a really cool guy in a really bad situation, and the result was probably the greatest action movie ever made. Die Hard 2 achieves status on its own just by being about the same thing. When so many movies want to be Die Hard but fail, why not just make another Die Hard? Director Renny Harlin (Cliffhanger)realized that because it's a sequel, there had to be more stunts and explosions. So there is. Die Hard 2 (appropriately called Die Harder) ups the ante a bit and has fun with a flurry of furious action scenarios. The fight on the wing of the plane is a classic in its own right, and Die Hard 2 stands alone as one of the best of the genre.
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9/10
Dying Just Got That Little Harder!
Old Joe6 March 2001
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 it‘s 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
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8/10
It's No Die Hard 1...
Gislef18 December 1998
...but other than that, there's very little going against the second in the series. It helps (but not enough) that the character realizes he's basically in a sequel. There are some minor variations in the formula, but basically the movie relies on the Bruce Willis' charisma and humor, and elaborate action sequences. William Sadler is okay, but no Alan Rickman (or Jeremy Irons in #3). It's still enjoyable, though.
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7/10
Die Harder--And More Violently
virek2132 October 2002
Warning: Spoilers
The 1988 action thriller DIE HARD was such a huge critical, commercial, and artistic success that it was probably inevitable, given Hollywood's mentality that there is never too much of a good thing, that a sequel would follow. The result, thus, is DIE HARD 2.

Bruce Willis returns as John McClane, who on this Christmas Eve is at Dulles International Airport in Washington awaiting the arrival of his wife (Bonnie Bedelia) from Los Angeles. Flights, however, are being delayed all across the board into D.C. by one of the biggest blizzards on record. And when Willis spots Army mercenaries in sensitive areas of the airport where nobody is supposed to go, his cop instincts take hold. As it turns out, these mercenaries are led by a hard-nosed right-wing colonel (William Sadler) whose aim is to snatch a known Latin-American drug dealer (Franco Nero) from the hands of U.S. justice agents. Their reason, as Sadler puts it, is because he had "the guts to stand up against Communist aggression." To prove his point, Sadler and his minions shut the entire airport down, putting all those planes in the snowbound skies over the nation's capital in mortal peril, until Nero's military plane arrives. The result is a battle in more ways than one, as Willis must not only tangle with Sadler's gang, but also with an incompetent airport cop (Dennis Franz) who thinks Willis is a lunatic.

Very solid acting from Willis, as well as Fred Dalton Thompson and Art Evans, who portray the two sympathetic airport officials, helps DIE HARD 2 remain leagues ahead of the majority of testosterone-laden action flicks. But many of the same flaws that were in DIE HARD 1 creep up here again. To paint the airport cops as incompetent buffoons just so that Willis can be the hero of the piece is grossly inaccurate and offensive. Even the media, in the guise of the ultra-obnoxious Dick Thornberg (William Atherton), gets slammed, and not in a very fair or accurate fashion. And the violence and language in DIE HARD 2 are far more pervasive than the original, with at least two scenes (the icepick to the eye; and Sadler's ex-commander [John Amos] getting sucked into the engine of the getaway 747 at the end) approaching extreme in terms of bloodshed, and the use of the 'F' word approaching SCARFACE in terms of occasions when it is used.

Still, there is plenty of suspense and tension to be had here, with the direction of Renny Harlin evincing, at times, the feel of a Spielberg or Peckinpah at their edge-of-the-seat best. Michael Kamen's score, which interpolates Jean Sibelius' "Finlandia" at the end, is also a plus.

The verdict is that DIE HARD 2: DIE HARDER is not an unflawed film, but one can certainly do much worse.
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7/10
Tries Hard...
Frank Markland28 June 2007
Bruce Willis returns as John McClane who this time faces off against mercenaries who have taken over an airport and are threatening to have all the plane crashes, McClane's wife Holly(Bonnie Bedelia) is on one such plane and so it's McClane back in action as he ponders how the same thing can happen to the same guy twice. Die Hard 2 to tell you the truth was a mixed bag. On one hand it had lots of action and a brutal edge to the action but also lacks the suspense of the first. In either case though Die Hard 2 is not bad as sequels go. Indeed even though it's directed by Renny Harlin, Die Hard 2 works in-spite of itself. The only flaw is that the movie is feels too much like a carbon copy of the first film only with a bigger is better approach to the stunts. That being said this is a minor flaw to behold and one really doesn't understand the mixed reaction to this film, when the movie is overall very entertaining.

* * * out of 4-(Good)
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7/10
A strong follow-up to the original
Agent1015 May 2002
I was expecting the worse when I saw this film, but this movie seemed to escape the curse of the cheesy sequel. Just as action packed and enthralling as the original, the wit displayed in this film saved it from being a mediocre follow-up. Bruce Willis was once again a great hero, showing how little being considered a hero means to him. A good film with a great plot twist, this is one of those action films which is just as good as the original.
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5/10
McClane is at it again
gcd7014 October 2007
Warning: Spoilers
"Look who's back in the wrong place at the right time." Yes, it's another Christmas and another band of terrorists for our hero 'John McClane' to cope with, this time at Dallas International Airport, Washington D.C.

Renny Harlin presents us with a sequel so true to the original that it's almost clichéd. Only on this occasion, the action is the one thing which holds this film together. McClane has become, almost inevitably, near invincible as "Die Hard 2" fails to present what the first film did, a human hero. The terrorists also lack depth, something that the previous movie benefited so much from.

Unlikely, but still fun, though nowhere near as funny.

Thursday, September 24, 1992 - Video
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5/10
Exciting Action Film with a Totally Unbelievable Premise
OFG-Movie26 March 2006
I have no problems with the action in this movie. The acting is fine and the characters are interesting. Add the plot twists and you have a watchable entertaining movie that is worth your time.

What caused me to rate this film a couple of stars lower that I would have otherwise is an idiotic part of the plot. Airliners are stacked up over Dulles and the tower can't communicate with them. Their radio engineer comes up with the idea of rigging the outer marker beacon to transmit a voice communication to all of the aircraft apprising them of the situation. Meanwhile the Army is being called by phone, TV news crews are transmitting back to their stations and ground vehicles are moving in and out of the airport. If one can communicate by phone, TV link and ground, why not just get hold of the regional traffic center to alert the airliners and divert them to other airports. Meanwhile John McClane's wife is on board one of these planes and it has 90 min of fuel on-board. Hmmm, 90 minutes at 500 mph. gives one lots of time and distance to find some kind of alternate destination. But alas, that would ruin the plot line of John trying to save his wife once more from certain death. This hole in the plot is big enough to fly an Airbus A380 through.
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7/10
McClane is at it again
disdressed1216 February 2008
this is still a good movie,although it's not as good as the first one.for one thing,it's a lot slower paced and there is less action.John McClane is once again the only person who seems to be standing in the way of terrorists carrying out there plan.this time,it just happens to an airport which is the scene.Bruce Willis is back as McClane,of course,and he actually has some more and funnier lines than in the first.William Sadler plays the main bad guy in this one,and puts in a great performance.i liked his character better than the main villain in the first movie.the biggest problem with this movie,like i mentioned,is the pacing.it is a bit slow especially compared to the first one.but that makes a big difference in how enjoyable it is is.it's just not as fun or thrilling.for me,Die Hard 2 is a 7/10
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10/10
die..much harder
kai ringler27 May 2008
First reason why this is better than the original.. SNOW.. and lot's of it,, the story is set in Christmas time, so you got to have snow,, love the idea of the bad guys taking over a whole entire airport,, now that is neat, i've been to Dulles more times than i care to remember,, though i don't remember the Annex Skywalk.. so this movie just rocks on all levels,, the bad guys,, and there are lot's of em,, are pretty sneaky, and clever in this one,, Bonnie Bedalia returns as Bruce Ex-wife, but as usual don't have to much to do in here, i loved the fact that Dennis Franz was in this movie,, he is such an underrated actor,, he is so funny, and i love every minute that i see him on the big screen. Bruce has lots of funny moments in this one, he has to be sort of like McGyver in this one,, trying to come up with different ways to outwit the street smart terrorists, and o yeah there is a twist in this movie,, but i can't ruin it ,, in good conscience.
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2/10
One Dumb Movie
hdavis-2919 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
It's true, stuff blows up real good here. And lots of guys get shot. And most everyone curses a lot. A real lot. If those are your criteria for a good movie, then look no further.

But, my god, the movie is dumb. Nowhere is this more obvious than what passes for dialogue. If in doubt, curse. There's rarely a line of dialogue or an exchange that rings remotely true. I'm not looking for the Oxford debating society here; but this stuff is really embarrassing. What am I comparing it to? Since Fred Dalton is in DH2, let's compare it to Law & Order. A bad episode on L&O has more intelligent, human-sounding speech than this whole juvenile mess. And how about Dennis Franz. His role on NYPD Blue reminds us how compelling and intelligent a script can be. His lines here, indeed his entire role, are an embarrassment to his career. What have you done to my hero Andy Sipowicz? I understand that acting jobs like this pay the rent and this was probably a good gig for Franz. His role on the TV cop show is 3-dimensional and character driven. This is a cartoon. A 14-year old boy's fantasy of how a man sounds: loud, crude, bossy.

It's sad that this film made money. It's an indictment of the sophistication of movie audiences, and worse yet - it encourages the idiots who crank out this trash.
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7/10
There is no comparison to the first Die Hard, but this was still a fun sequel!
Kristine2 August 2004
John McClane is back! I had heard a few bad things about Die Hard 2, I was a bit nervous to see this film just because of that. But I think it was just because of the fact that a lot of people really compare it to the first Die Hard, like I said there really is no comparison, the first Die Hard was an absolute blast and can't be beat. However, Die Hard 2 is a little looked over, it's still a great sequel in my opinion. It has great action, the same fun characters, and an awesome story. While it was somewhat bland compared to the first Die Hard, this was a fun movie to watch I think.

John McClane is back to square one in life, his wife doesn't like him very much right now since he hasn't kept his promises. But she is coming into town for a report and John is there to pick her up. But things are quickly interrupted when Col. Stuart takes control of the airport with high demands of money and power. Unfortunately he doesn't realize who he's messing with when he is aware of John's wife being aboard of one of the planes. Since the airport's power is now out, the planes cannot land and are quickly running out of gas to keep them going. John is on the case though and isn't going to let Col. Stuart get away with this.

Die Hard 2 is a cool movie in my books. William Sadler made a good villain, he's really intense looking and got into character very well. I loved how this movie ended, Holly really kicked more butt in this film. But it is Bruce who really wins the movie over, he's even more bad than ever before, he's just so awesome, you can't help but to keep rooting for him. Not to mention one of the most memorable lines ever "Yippe-Kia-Mother-", you get it, but he's the only one that could deliver that line right. I would recommend this movie for anyone, just give it a shot, it's pretty good.

7/10
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8/10
Die Harder
moviewizguy18 March 2008
After the terrifying events in LA, John McClane is about to go through it all again. A team of terrorists, led by Col. Stuart is holding the entire airport hostage. The terrorists are planning to rescue a drug lord from justice. In order to do so, they have seized control of all electrical equipment affecting all planes. With no runway lights available, all aircraft have to remain in the air, with fuel running low, McClane will need to be fast.

This is a Die Hard film so it must be entertaining, right? You are correct! Am I afraid to say this film is even better than the first film? No way! I'm going to say it right now! THIS FILM IS BETTER THAN THE FIRST!

Now getting that out of the way, this is what you expect from a sequel: Bigger set pieces, more body counts, more and bigger explosions, many more people, and the same old McClane! However, it does surprise me that the film doesn't have as much action as the first film. If I look back correctly, McClane isn't an action hero until the last 10 minutes of the film!

Now that isn't a bad thing. I'm kind of glad that it's different. This is an entertaining summer movie! Now changing my attitude, this film suffers from what the first one did: A long runtime. The movie overstays its welcome for about 30 minutes, and I mean it. I would've liked it to be a tight packed, fast-paced, action movie but whatever.

Now what can I say about the performances? Bruce Willis plays the same character, flawlessly. It's really good! William Sadler, I guess, is a decent antagonist. Nothing really stands out for me except for him practicing to fight naked.

What can you expect from this? Well, not necessarily more action scenes from Bruce Willis. Still, this film is a lot of fun to watch, although it overstayed its welcome. There are also some memorable lines. With everything mostly bigger, although not better, but in this case it is, this film is better than the first film but not the fourth.
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6/10
Not Enough Respect for the Audience
scubergmu13 September 2004
Okay, I have one big problem with this sequel to Die Hard. The movie was entertaining at times with McClain taking on more bad-ass terrorists and their ultra-elaborate plan. But unlike the first film in this series, this particular entry was utterly preposterous. Sure, the action of the first was huge and explosive itself, but in the scheme of the movie it always basically made sense. In Die Hard 2 though, there were individual scenes that made no sense, and a plot with holes so big you could fly a 747 through them. I do not mean to be the overly discriminating film reviewer who knit-picks at technical details and writes the movie off as a result. No, if you see one or even a handful of discrepancies, things that violate reality, you dismiss them. But this movie is just a series of them, over and over and over. I mean, how can you shut your brain off that much and just sit back and enjoy the action, when the movie couldn't happen in a million years for reasons that you don't even have to be some kind of expert to be conscious of. For example, at the beginning of the movie, National Airport is shut down because of the snow and you hear airport controllers discussing how they will be taking over its flight load. So my question is, if the terrorists disable Dulles, couldn't the reverse occur? How could the terrorists have counted on National being shut down for a snowstorm when they'd been planning for months? And then of course there is Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI), which was never even mentioned of course, that may have come in handy for people trying to land planes circling over DC. Also, how can they expect us to believe that the planes circling overhead are doomed to crash in two hours when they run out of fuel, when a flight from DC to Memphis, Philly, New York, or Atlanta takes less than that. And of course, why couldn't the controllers have transmitted to the planes using radios in planes that were already on the ground? My point is, you just can't sidestep reality in such a plethora of ways and expect an audience to follow you through the whole plot. If you have to do that so much to make your movie work then perhaps it never should have been made. Oh yeah, and having John McClain simply say at one point, 'How can the same thing happen to the same guy twice?', doesn't successfully negate the fact the odds on that are too infinitesimal to even be contemplated. So, bottom line, it had too many holes to be enjoyable, even though it was only trying to entertain with a series of explosions. The first movie was so much more plausible, and that's why people actually buy the first one by itself. I have a feeling the vast majority of Die Hard 2 owners bought it as part of the trilogy set, mostly as a means of seeing the other two.

P.S. I almost forgot about the grenades that took 20+ seconds to explode. Riiiiigghhht.
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8/10
Die Silly
Brandt Sponseller16 May 2005
Series note: It is not necessary to watch Die Hard (1988) before this film. However, that is the better film and it will give you a better introduction to the continuing characters, so it is still recommendable to watch the first film before this one.

Set an unspecified number of years after Die Hard (I'll call it "Die Hard 1"), Die Hard 2 has John McClane (Bruce Willis) just outside of Washington, D.C. on Christmas Eve, where he is waiting for his wife, Holly (Bonnie Bedelia), to arrive at Dulles International Airport from Los Angeles so they can visit her mother for the holidays. Holly calls John from the plane to tell him that they're a half-hour behind schedule. While he's waiting in the crowded airport, he first sees a man he recognizes but can't place (it turns out to be one of the villains), then sees a couple other suspicious men heading into the restricted baggage area. He follows them in, has a confrontation, and eventually learns that one is a special ops military guy whose records say he's been dead for two years. That cues him in to the fact that something big is going to go down (as if he couldn't tell based on the fact that he's in another Die Hard film). Since a bigwig cocaine dealer from Latin America is on his way to Washington for extradition, that's a pretty big clue regarding what is about to go down. Shortly after chaos ensues, as "terrorists" take control of Dulles with dozens of planes in the air and no place to land--they're not able to talk to the tower, use their instruments properly or conduct a visual landing. How will they resolve the situation?

I'm not one to subtract points for a lack of realism, or "real world believability" in films. Because of that, Die Hard 2 poses a very interesting case study for me. Real world believability is very difficult to not think about when watching this film. Why wouldn't the planes just reroute to other nearby airports? There are a bunch less than an hour's flight away, including Baltimore, Philadelphia, the three New York City-area airports, and so on. Why wouldn't they be able to call another close airport, or the Pentagon, or somewhere else nearby to have them contact the planes? They're near Washington, D.C., after all (don't forget that Dulles is 26 miles away from D.C., in Virginia, making it unlikely that planes out of fuel would begin "dropping on the White House lawn"). It seems like maybe this film should have been set somewhere like Salt Lake City, Utah instead. Why wouldn't they be able to show the runways through some other means, like a line of emergency or police vehicles with their sirens on? If the "terrorists" started shooting at the vehicles, or trying to blow them up, at least they'd be given an indication where the fire is coming from/given their location. Just how likely would it be that there's a big storm in the area on the day when General Ramon Esperanza (Franco Nero) is being extradited? How likely is it that he'd be extradited on Christmas Eve? Why the hell is John standing out on the runway in the snow waving a couple of flaming poles--just what does he think that will do? And we can go on and on.

In the above, it becomes clear that maybe the problem isn't real-world believability but internal logic, although to an extent, some of the internal logic is extremely difficult to separate from facts we know about the real world that aren't mentioned in the film. But Die Hard 1 was an extremely taut film that had impeccable internal logic. The film itself gave reasons for the dilemmas that arose, and they were justifications that made the dilemmas inevitable. It doesn't matter that some of the "facts" or situations in Die Hard 1 were contrary to our beliefs about the real world. The film defined things to be the fictional way it defined them, and the logic was consistent and valid (in the formal sense) from within the film.

However, it becomes clear, not too far into Die Hard 2, that perhaps looking at it for things like real-world believability and logical consistency/validity is misconceiving it. My belief is that this film is meant to be a spoof of action films as much as it is meant to be a serious action film. _That's_ why John is standing out on the runway waving around flaming poles like a maniac. That's why baddies can easily shoot and kill 20 or so highly trained, highly armed S.W.A.T. team members wearing bulletproof vests but can't hit John, who is wearing street clothes and rolling around on the floor with a pistol. That's why the planes are stuck over D.C. with no options and the film doesn't even try to justify this. That's why there are scenes of John "riding explosions" like a cowboy (yippee-ki-yay mf'er indeed). That's why there are a number of "wink-wink" cracks about being in another Die Hard film. That's why there are a few scenes that look oddly similar to Airplane! (1980). That's why the film so frequently, joyously embraces silliness.

Director Renny Harlin and his bulletproof vested army of scriptwriters and producers apparently set out to make a cartoonish satire of action films, while still making a serious action film. In 1990, action films were just at the tail end of their domination of the U.S. box office, so it was a ripe time to spoof them. Harlin and company succeed fairly well. It might have been even more artistically successful if they had more firmly committed to one angle (cartoonish satire) or the other (serious actioner), but the performances are pretty good, the fistfights, gunfights, explosions and chases are very good, and the film is frequently funny if you have a taste for the absurd.
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3/10
Severely unequal sequel!
hnt_dnl19 June 2009
Warning: Spoilers
DIE HARD 2 is a prime example that, in terms of film-making, in general, you can't top the original. Resistance is essentially futile! Hindsight and retrospect is a son of a gun! There have been many cases where I was immediately fooled by a sequel that had more packed in it (longer, bigger, more characters, more effects, more action, etc.) thinking with something other than my common sense! When I first saw DIE HARD 2 back in 1990 (the year it came out), I thought:

"Oh, it's not confined to that building and is instead in a big airport (Dulles), so it's got to be better!

"McClane gets to move around more, doesn't have to walk around barefoot, gets to interact with a lot of people, so it will be less uncomfortable."

"The action can be more spread out and is not restrictive. So it's got to be better."

Wrong, wrong, and wrong!

Again, with hindsight and repeated viewing, DIE HARD 2 continually gets downgraded by me as what is wrong with most Hollywood action movies, especially nowadays.

What I realize is that part of the brilliance of the original DIE HARD was it's claustrophobic nature and that by limiting the action to that one skyscraper, it allows everything to be more personal, centrally located, and focused. You had to have everything happen in that one building, so you couldn't cheat or fool the audience. By design, the filmmakers had to come up with original ideas. In a situation like DIE HARD 2, there is action HERE, THERE, and EVERYWHERE to the point of just a bunch of the same action scenes, each with non-quotable, stupid dialogue and one-liners. The action in DIE HARD 2 is not unique, nor are any of the situations scary or tense, as they were in DIE HARD.

Our hero is once again John McClane (played by the reliable action hero Bruce Willis, but this time in a thankless situation) and as previously stated, he is at Dulles Airport in D.C. waiting his wife Holly's (Bonnie Bedelia again) arriving plane so they can meet her parents for Christmas. A bad snowstorm has caused so that even planes at nearby airports must re-route to Dulles. This time, as opposed to in the original DIE HARD, these terrorists are actual terrorists, a group of U.S. military expatriates who plan to seize control of Dulles and force them to have the plane of a political prisoner routed to a special runway. This group is led by Col. Stuart (played by William Sadler). This is another huge problem with DIE HARD 2. The main villain is not effective. While in DIE HARD, Hans Gruber was truly diabolical, smart, charming, and relentless, Stuart in DIE HARD 2 is pretty much just a stock villain who has an eternal scowl on his face with no distinguishing characteristics. Very monotone character. Also, Stuart strangely doesn't seem to be fazed or surprised about McClane's involvement in trying to stop him, which I find unrealistic.

Another problem is that whereas DIE HARD had a core of memorable supporting characters (Holly, Hans, Karl, Powell, Robinson, Thornburg, etc.) each with some character believability and depth, DIE HARD 2 is populated with virtually all annoying characters (the airport personnel led by Fred Dalton Thompson and Dennis Franz are spectacularly idiotic; at least in DIE HARD, even though Robinson wasn't too bright, he had legitimate reason to believe that McClane might not be on the up and up; these airport guys had no excuse, so why waste the whole 2 hours arguing with him!). Also, I found most of the more minor characters like the flight attendants on Holly's plane, the female news reporter following McClane around like his pet, that creepy drunk guy working in the underground part of the airport, etc. all annoying.

Then you have John Amos (playing an Army major and a former colleague of Col. Stuart's) and his military squad pop in to save the day at the last minute, but again, it is not exciting or tense at all. In fact, with all the action in DIE HARD 2, none of it is thrilling, just by-the-numbers fare: fake-looking fights and machine guns going off all over the place, but without the style, flair, and, dare I say, "realism" of DIE HARD. The action situations in the original were more sparse, believable, and well-staged.

But the biggest offense of DIE HARD 2 is the cringe-inducing dialogue. It is really bad. One of the reasons many of the characters come off so bland, monotone, and annoying. I mean, it is unintentionally laughable. ALL characters are a victim to it. And finally, amazingly, although it came out only 2 years later, this sequel seems way more dated than the original. In fact, the original doesn't seem dated at all to me. DIE HARD 2 is just a mindless action flick.
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5/10
Worst of the four.
Tehmeh9 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I got the DVD-box which contains all four Die Hard-movies. I watched them all again, leaving this one for the last.

There aren't many successful franchises around with 3rd and 4th movie being better than the second. Die Hard has made the exception.

I was entertained by the three other movies, being able to forgive some silliness and just enjoy the action and the characters. Die Hard 2 just made me uncomfortable several times.

The whole idea is good enough, and the settings aren't that bad. Some plot twists are decent. Some action scenes don't suck. That's it.

Main character McClane is handled poorly. He's too serious when he should crack some jokes, and tries to be funny at wrong times. It feels cheap after the first movie. At least the third one, "Die Hard with a Vengeance", took McClane back on track with a sense of self-irony. Dennis Franz probably hated his role, being a cliché-filled anti-McClane officer.

The plot holes and other stupid scenes don't help much. I'm not expecting a reality-fest from a Die Hard-movie, but come on. I didn't know crap about radio communication or grenades when I was twelve when I first saw this movie, but even then I managed to hang my head against a wall in shame for my fellow countryman Renny Harlin.

But who cares when you got action, right? Umm, yeah. You get explosions, frequent slo-mo deaths, bad fist-fights, dull chase scenes and McClane shooting as bad as the bad guys, just to break some lamps and decorate the walls. I didn't get the "evil grin" on my face, not once. In the first movie, that grin was on my face all the time.

But, when you got a character like McClane, you can't totally screw it up. I watched this one from the beginning to the end without getting drunk and R-rated violence is always better than PG13-pudding. I would still like to pretend that this sequel never existed (like the following sequels do), but I can't. It is part of the beloved Die Hard-franchise, and that alone makes this film better than it deserves to be. And I'm glad that I watched this movie again, now I'm sure that I won't have to do it again.

edit: Die Hard 5 doesn't count. That's not a Die Hard-movie.
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1/10
The facts don't fly, and neither does the film.
seideman10 October 2000
Warning: Spoilers
Utterly incompetent scriptwriting does in this dreary actioner. The people who wrote this movie know nothing about the real world--so the fundamental source of suspense in the film is based on a lie--(mild spoiler) that aircraft circling National Airport would have nowhere else to land.

It's a typical Hollywood display of contempt for the movie audience. As if there are no airports within an hour of National. Christ, you can almost get to Boston and back in that time! And additionally, the swat-team bullet-proof vests offer less protection than a wet twinkie.

Add the flat acting, tone-deaf script, and you've got a nails on the blackboard bad picture. Come on! Turn on the brain cells! The people who put this dreck out certainly didn't.
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2/10
Logic and intelligence from the first film is gone!
amwcsu2 February 2005
The plot of the terrorists reeking havoc at Dulles International Ariport seems to be a challenging, yet interesting plot. Action sequences are definitely "Die Hard"...well authentically to say the least. It wasn't as intelligent and intense as the original. This movie in general had a: "Seen it! Been there, Done that!" feel to it.

Spoilers Detected!!! The only intense moments in the entire movie was when the plane full of holiday travelers crashed, exploding on impact and McClane ejects from the plane set to explode within seconds. THAT'S IT! Other than that it's has no more action than Airport disaster films of the 1970's!

What really doesn't make any sense is the middle to the end of the film. The planes have no other option except circle the airport until they run out of fuel. Are you kidding me? There has to be dozens of alternative airports to land at from Logan in Boston to Charlotte, North Carolina! Did this director fail geography as a kid or something, because he seems to be very ignorant of eastern seaboard. Why must they all land at Dulles; was there a law? No it was Hollywood Logic: "They must have something to tie the movie together" Seriously dude, you've could have done a lot better! Get this! The jumbo jets land in a field big enough for a number of them. What? How? Without crashing into one another or collapsing the landing gear? Impossible! What kind of narcotic was Renny Harlin huffing, snorting, and/or drinking when he directed this? Was he drunk or in La La Land? Another weird moment is when some of the evacuated passengers are not wearing any shoes! You're in a snow field and it's cold enough to form deadly icicles(below 32F) why would you be without any shoes and protection from a coat? Ever heard of frostbite and hypothermia ?! Give me a break! The planes weren't in any danger surely they would have time to grab a coat or something, Jeez!

Sadly, Die Harder joins the universal hall of fame for cheesy airport disaster melodramas that only a mediocre Hollywood director like this bozo and a ratings hungry bastard of a 24-hour news network can only fantasize about. I can't believe that I actually wanted to buy this movie on VHS!
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Good action film - but no where near the original
bob the moo28 November 2001
John McClane is in Washington to meet his wife as she arrives at the airport. However as he waits for her plane to come in terrorists seize control of the control equipment and keep the planes circling. They plan to rescue captured dictator General Esperanza by landing his plane at the airport and making their escape. However as the terrorists wait the circling planes get shorter and shorter on fuel, leading John McClane to take what action he can to regain control of the planes.

This second of the exciting die hard series has a hard act to follow. The first film was amazing and broke the mould relating to action films, it showed that action could occur in everyday locations, caused English actors to get lots of work as bad guys and set many other copycat films in motion (die hard on a mountain, die hard on a bus etc). However this is nothing special. The plot tries to be similar to the original but it lacks as much originality as the first. The terrorist plot is not quite as likely and it doesn't have the same flow as the first. Story-wise the main flaw is in McClane's involvement - in the first film he was very much trapped and forced to take action, in fact his first instinct was to run away from the terrorists. Here the same is not true, Willis tries to make it seem that he doesn't want all this again ("how can the same **** happen to the same guy") but really he throws himself into the thick of the battle. This takes away from the image of him as an ordinary guy put into a difficult situation.

The action scenes don't help this problem. Yes all the action scenes are good and exciting, but many of them are too big. In the first the action occurred in short standoffs, usually with McClane running away or sneaking around. Here there's too many of one man v's the world style action with Willis running in against a large number of terrorists and winning. Again this takes away from the tension and claustrophobia of the other film and makes it feel like a Arnie blockbuster. That said the action is still good and won't disappoint action fans.

The main failing of the film is that it tries to be like the first film without success. It retains the same set-up (McClane trying to rescue his wife from terrorists), brings back the same Christmas time setting and music, it even wheels back in as many repeat characters as it can (Veljohnson as Sergeant Powell, Atherton as Thornburg) but it loses the most important item - the set parameters of the action. Die Hard was great because it had very tightly set locations for it's action in the office block. Here the action can spread out all over so a lot of the tension and claustrophobia is lost. The decision to make the second film so similar to the first can only lead us to comparing the two and seeing the inferiorities.

The performances are quite good generally. Willis can almost do this type of thing in his sleep while the other repeat characters simply redo their roles. Unfortunately many of the repeat characters don't have much to do and seem out of place. The 'new' characters fill the stereotyped shoes of previous actors. Dennis Franz takes on the mantle of incompetent cop standing in McClane's way by going by the book, Sheila McCarthy takes on the story hungry journalist role etc. The bad guys do have a lot to live up to by replacing Alan Rickman and they don't quite reach that standard. William Sadler is good as Colonel Stuart but doesn't have any style of his own, anyway it's good to see Franco Nero (cult star of western Django) in an American film.

The film has some nice twists towards the end but it just doesn't come close to the atmosphere of the first film. By trying to be similar to the first film, Renny Harlin shows that he's not as capable as McTiernan in creating a mood of tension mixed with the action. The result is a great action movie but one that cowers in the shadow of it's better bigger brother.
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8/10
#2 and Still Counting
LeonLouisRicci8 June 2014
Director Renny Harlin tries Very Hard to at Least Keep Up with John Mctiernan's Original Classic that was a Game Changer, but the Formula had been Patented and the Inevitable Cries of Rip-Off and Sequel Envy were Loud. Just like this Movie.

It is a Loud and Extremely Enjoyable Entertainment. A lot of Bang for the Buck. The First Film is History so Get Over It and Get On With It. So They did and as of 2014 there are 5 Die Hard Movies and Unless Bruce Willis Dies from too many Cigarettes or Bad One Liners, they may go on for Eternity. You can just See John McClane in the Nursing Home Attached to the Oxygen Bottle Encountering Social Security Check Identity Thieves and Saving the Day.

This is a Kick-Butt Action Movie that Never Lets Up and that's what makes these kind of Films Endure. No Taxing of the Brain, just be Awed by the Spectacle of it all. Yes some of the Confrontational Dialog with Airport Security is Overwrought and Irritating and the Thornburgh-Holly Bits are Strained but that's not why People Bought Tickets and aren't On Screen Long, just there for the Audience to take a Needed Break from the Mayhem.

The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996) is the Director's Best Film and is Underrated and Overlooked, but Die Hard 2 is a Close Second.
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9/10
Die Harder has more carnage!
OllieSuave-00727 February 2014
Warning: Spoilers
"Die Hard 2" is the first sequel to one of the best and iconic action films from Hollywood, returning Bruce Willis as NYPD Officer John McClane, who tries to go a ruthless band of terrorists, led by Col. Stuart (William Sadler). They are taking the entire airport hostage and have seized control of all its electrical equipment, meaning planes couldn't land and runways have no lights (McClane's wife Holly is on one of the planes). The terrorists' mission is to rescue drug lord Gen. Ramon Esperanza (Franco Nero) from justice.

Willis' witty and deadpan delivery personality continue in this movie, along with his never-say-die attitude and relentless attacks on the bad guys. Sadler gave a "love-to-hate-him" performance of the main villain, making the audience root against him. I think he and his terrorist group are even more cruel than the villains from the previous film; ***spoiler ahead*** just the part where they bring down one of the jet-liners with dozens of innocent civilians on board is one of the most disturbing scenes I have seen in action movies ***spoiler ends***.

Bonnie Bedelia did a great job as Holly Gennaro. Even though her role is secluded in an airplane, she gave a fearless and witty performance. And, albeit in a cameo role, Reginald VelJohnson gave a memorable performance as Sgt. Al Powell.

Overall, it's a great sequel full of suspense, thrills and twists and turns. The special and sound effects were awesome and the solids plot made this another edge-of-your-seat ride that is perfect for any action movie fans!

Grade A
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1/10
Easily the stupidest movie I've ever seen
KG140NY30 May 1999
I've seen Ishtar. I've seen Howard the Duck. I've even seen Mortal Kombat II. None of these hold a candle to the blatant stupidity of Die Hard II. The premise that you can hold planes hostage in the air over the area of the world with the MOST airports is pathetic. Fer cryin' out loud Andrew's Airforce Base is a short drive from Dulles and that's where the president lands.

But what I love most about the movie is how the day that the day the terrorist uber-lord is going to land at Dulles??? the worst blizzard in the history of the world descends on the East Coast. Good timing folks! The terrorist plan involves millions of dollars in high-tech gear, a subverted American military unit, and enough ammunition to take down a third-world country. My question: why not spend $10,000 and bribe the pilot of the plane? Doh! Perhaps he would know how to aim a gun too! For certain these highly trained terrorists didn't go to any NRA training camps.

To conclude my rant, I would just like to offer this: What happens when a 200 lbs man in full combat gear is sucked into the engine of a jet-liner? You probably expect serious damage to the plane. Maybe an explosion. After all, a 2 pound bird can take down a military jet. Now what do you think happens in this movie?

Take a guess. Perhaps you can enjoy this movie for humor value of the parallel universe physics. Only Piccard saying 'end holodeck program' right before the credits could save this disaster of implausibility.
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