14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
How can the same thing happen to the same guy twice?,
This review is from: Die Hard 2 - Die Harder (Special Edition) (DVD)
The makers of Die Hard 2, hoped to surpass the success of the original Die Hard. While the second film may feature action on a larger scale, the plot does not draw the audience into the story in the same way the first Die Hard did. Director and action movie specialist, Renny Harlin, is only partially successful at creating and sustaining a high level of suspense and excitement, working with a script that could have been stood a bit more polish.
Once again police officer John McClane (Bruce Willis) gets into some heavy-duty action on Christmas Eve. This time it's at Dulles Airport, in Washington, where terrorists have taken control and seek the release of a foreign general. McClane is suddenly in the middle of the action, seeking to foil the plot and also save his wife Holly (Bonnie Bedelia), who is a passenger on a circling plane, in danger of running out of fuel.
Die Hard 2, is a very different film from Die Hard. Some of the elements most critical to the success of the first film, are not present. The first time around, action was confined to a limited area, a few floors in the Nakatomi Plaza. The danger to McClane's wife was more immediate and real, reinforced by the menacing presence of supercrook Hans Gruber, played with style by Alan Rickman. There was real antagonism between McClane and Gruber, which propelled the movie. In Die Hard 2, the action is spread over a much wider stage, with many more players. McClane, though still a one-man army, never establishes a relationship with one principal "baddie". Colonel Stuart (William Sadler), the wild-eyed leader of the mercenaries is rather robotic, and lacks any special charisma. McClane and wife Holly, are pretty much out of touch throughout the critical phases of the movie. And if not for the "coincidental" presence of news reporter Dick Thornburg (William Atherton) from the first film, Holly would have almost nothing to do. A logical plot, is secondary to the action. If not, then the "same thing" wouldn't happen to the "same guy".
Die Hard 2 - Die Harder, is a good action film, that takes a different approach from its predecessor. There is no shortage of action, but the "intimacy" that characterized the first film is absent. Bigger? Yes. Better? Perhaps not.
The Special Edition DVD features director Renny Harlin's detailed and revealing commentary. As usual, he is very informative, insightful, and frank, in discussing the production of the film. Harlin's commentaries are among the best, for their honesty. You also get a second disc with a couple of documentaries, deleted scenes, interview with Harlin, and other special features.