Reviews May Contain Minor Spoilers

If you're reading a review you should expect to hear some spoilers. I try to keep them to a minimum though.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Die Hard 2: Die Harder

So, if my favorite Christmas movie is Die Hard, how do I feel about the others? I've watched Die Hard every Christmas for the last four Christmases not counting the numerous other times I've seen it. I've seen each of the others twice, including the times I watched them for this review...

Die Hard 2: Die Harder (1990) is the follow-up to Die Hard. I guess people liked it, but I do not.

John McClane is waiting for his wife to land in Washington DC when spots two guys with a suspicious package heading into the luggage room. After an action scene he decides to investigate while waiting for his wife. He soon discovers one of them may be a black ops agent. A South American dictator is due to land at the airport in an hour. Then things begin to go haywire at the airport.

Even my summary seems a bit roundabout and I left out the clutter of the first half hour: a naked Colonel Stewart practicing Ty-chi, a crazy lady talking about tasering her dog, and guys setting up a comm room in a church. Characters we care about? Nah, they're gonna burn off all the good will from the first movie. Plot? They dance around setting it up until about thirty minutes in. This leaves the first fight scene in the luggage room with little point and no stakes.

Warning: Possible Rant Follows

This is going to suck how bad?
Our Hero
Even John McClane comments about being in the same situation twice. McClane fires a machine gun in the midst of a bunch of cops because that's smart. McClane stabs a guy in the eye with an icicle. McClane gets yelled at a lot for trying to say anything. He laughs like a maniac at several parts. He has some lame one liners. It's like a cheap knock off version of the character.

Pretty Bad
Baffled Bystanders
The bit players include ninties favorites: the T-1000/Agent Dogget, Miles O'Brien, Det. Andy Sipowicz, and D.A. Arthur Branch! Okay, there are a ton of characters in this, but they fall mostly into bad guys and guys yelling at McClane for interfering as they mess up. I know the first one had this, but the difference is that it was clearly funny in that. The yelling in this movie is not funny. There's also tons of it in this Die Hard 2. Plus, the scummy journalist who had a minor part in the first one is back to annoy us more. There is a nicer lady journalist to act as a foil I guess... Then there's the annoying janitor and a technician from the airline who are the only ones to help John. It keeps cutting back to his wife, though she's the punchline to an unfunny joke that was clearly set up at the beginning. The bottom line is there are way too many characters. There's even a cameo from Al that is one of the only bright spots in this movie.

Switching off a TV never looked so stupid!
Flat Foes
Colonel Stewart and his men are the most flat and boring terrorists ever. The most personality the Colonel gets is in the opening minutes of the film when he is naked and practicing Ty-chi. His men get pretty much no personality at all. They are meant to be proper military guys, but even the military has some personality.

The General is a stereotypical South American dictator who deals cocaine and flies planes.

Airport Atmosphere
There's some Christmas at the beginning to dupe us into believing that it's going to be as nicely blended in as the original. Then, for the majority of the movie the only thing to remind us about Christmas is the snow. The airport is dull and has no personality of its own. We see everything we expect from an airport and that's a shame. Even airports tend to have a bit of personality.

In the End
It ends on a little bit more Christmas, but I think Holly's line at the end say it all: "Why does this keep happening to us?" Why did they make this film.

Dammit, that did suck.
Die Hard 2's biggest sin is that there are very few moments of levity and a lot of yelling at authority figures. We only care about the stakes because of John and Holly McClane who we learned to like in the first film. Like many films trying to be more ingenious than their predecessor it just becomes convoluted. Even the 'Yippie Ki-Yay Mother Fucker' feels tacked on. I know I should be judging this film on its own merits, but this sequel is such a half-assed recreation of the first that I have no idea how it has a 65% on Rotten tomatoes. (Seriously, if you like this movie please feel free to explain in the comments!) Both times I've watched this movie, I wonder why I didn't just re-watch the first one. I still don't know.

Ugh, fortunately it doesn't get worse than that with this series. Yeah, I said it! I'll be back tomorrow, with a Vengeance!

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