Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Die Hard 2

Die Hard 2; Action, USA, 1990; D: Renny Harlin, S: Bruce Willis, William Sadler, Franco Nero, Bonnie Bedelia, Dennis Franz, Reginald VelJohnson

It's Christmas Eve again and the police officer John McClane is in an airport in Washington, waiting for his wife's, Holly, airplane to land. But then the airport is stormed and taken by terrorists who are lead by colonel Stuart who demands that the dictator Esperanza should be freed at once, since he is currently in custody by American soldiers who are escorting him in a plane to prison. They also take over the control center, causing a delay of all airplanes in the sky. Still, John manages to kill the terrorists and reinforce the airport for the airplanes to land.

Some critics who called "Die Hard 2" as equally as good, or even better film than the original "Die Hard" are either deluding themselves or their criteria are still under the impression of the first film. But "Die Hard 2" should be regarded without any context, as a film for itself, and like that he is weaker than the first (from which he literally copied the whole story and played it again, just placing it in an airport) and the third part of the series, an achievement that suffers a lot from Hollywood cliches, acting sometimes even like cheap "action pornography". The direction from Renny Harlin is quite incompetent and too morbid - it seems it's completely normal for him to in one scene kill 300 people by crashing a plane just to make the viewer hate the bad guys! Also, the bad guys are one dimensional bad guys, unrealistic characters that annoy by taunting their victims and show off. And a lot of the story doesn't make any sense: for instance, since the bad guys have took over the airport in Washington, they caused dozens and dozens of airplanes to "helplessly" fly in circles for hours, being at their mercy - but would it be so difficult for them to simply land in a different nearby airport? Still, despite all, it's still a dynamic and exciting achievement intended for light fun that even has a few clever ideas - for instance, the journalist Richard is complaining because the airplane he is sharing with Holly is defying the curt decision in which she is forbidden to come closer to him than 50 yards, and in one dynamic finale John is able to put the airplane of the terrorists on fire - at the same time enlightening the airport track for the other airplanes to land.


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