I love the Die Hard series and if you were to ask me to rate the three, the first would be on the top of my list, followed by the third and Die Hard 2 would be the last. For me Die Hard 2 is the weakest of the three, but that don’t mean that it’s a bad film at all. It just means that the other two are a lot stronger than this one. I fell that the missing presence of Die Hard and Die Hard: With a Vengeance director John McTiernan is what makes Die Hard 2 a weaker film.
John McClane says that the story of his life is about being in the wrong place and the wrong time. And that seems to be true. In Die Hard 2, it’s Christmas again and McClane is at the Dulles International Airport waiting to pick up his wife who is coming home from a business trip. Also at the airport are some terrorists who are there waiting to pick up their boss, who is a deposed leader, General Esperanza. Die Hard 2 sets up the story quickly so that it can move into its amazing action sequences.
Along the way we meet our typical stereotypical characters who are nothing more than cardboard cut out stock characters that serve the only one of two purposes: 1) help McClane or 2) die. This is not a problem though because the story itself is so preposterous that it is actually pretty fun to watch. Yes, the story is pretty unbelievable but director Renny Harlin does a good job at keeping the pace quick and brisk. This makes it easy to suspend your disbelief, actually, it leaves no time for disbelief. And this is where I see the problem with Die Hard 2, the action is sometimes way too over-the-top and comes at a pace that is so brute and in your face that it’s painful. Harlin who seems to like to show everything when doing action sequences shows a lot of unnecessary violences and gore.
Bruce Willis IS John McClane and there’s no doubt there. Willis seems so in touch with the McClane character that he is wholly fun to watch. Dennis Franz is the lead-in-the-head typical antagonist for the McClane character, and while Franz fills in the shoes OK, he’s not really doing too much during the film. William Sadler is Stuart, the leader of the terrorist, and he does a good job with his part. I did like the performance of John Amos as Grant who shows up halfway through the film.
Die Hard 2 might be the weakest of the series, but it is still a great action film. Don’t miss this one. Willis is made for his part and it is he who makes this so much fun to watch.