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Die Hard 2: Die Harder

review by David G.

 

Rated R

Running Time: 124 Minutes

Starring: Bruce Willis, William Sadler, Bonnie Bedelia

Screenplay by Steven E. de Souza and Doug Richardson Based on the novel "58 minutes" by Walter Wager

Directed by Renny Harlin

Retail Price: 29.98

Studio: Fox

Specs: 2.35:1 Non-Anamorphic Widescreen, 5.1 Dolby Digital English, English Dolby Surround, French Dolby Surround, English Subtitles, Spanish subtitles, Chapter Search, THX Certified

John McClane (Bruce Willis) is back as the wrong man in the wrong place at the wrong time. In this Die Hard, the story takes place in Dulles Washington Airport during Christmas Eve when a plane transporting the extradited drug lord Esperenza (Franco Nero) is about to land. At this moment, a group of terrorists lead by Colonel Stuart (William Sadler) takes control of the airport cutting all its communications with planes. His aim is to free Esperenza with the threat to crash all planes and among them there is the plane of McClane's wife. Obviously, McClane will be, once again, the last chance of the hostages.

It was logical to do a sequel to "Die Hard", this one bringing a lot of cash to 20th Century Fox. It is now Renny Harlin who directs Bruce Willis as John McClane. This guy gave us "Long Kiss Goodnight" for the best and "Cutthroat Island" or "Deep Blue Sea" for the worst. Of course, Renny Harlin is not John McTiernan and we can observe this fact in Die Hard 2 but I have to say that if he didn't manage to make a movie with the quality of the first Die Hard, this one manages to entertain us with many action scenes, many gunfights and explosions although the action sequences are strongly inspired by John Woo's movies especially the wonderful "The Killer", and when I say inspiration, I could say sometime plagiarism (see the getaway before the antenna explode). As I say earlier, if you forget the obvious default, the movie hit its aim to entertain us during 2 hours without boring us: this is rare enough nowadays to steer clear of our pleasure.

 

The movie is presented in a widescreen 2.35:1 format, and the transfer is good even in the darkest sequences or in the control tower where black, red, green, purple are mixed often in one shot. Good work here.

The soundtracks seem to have more panache than for the first Die Hard, the multiple gunfights and explosions are well enveloping by the subwoofer. The surround speakers provides multiple efficient effects.

As for the first Die Hard, extras are not full stock here. Once again : a trailer for each Die Hard movie, a slide show, a useless featurette and some cast informations. In a word, if you buy this DVD, it will not be for the extras!

A movie largely below the first Die Hard but rhythmic enough to enjoy the audience.

(3/5, NOT included in final score)

(3/5)

(4/5)

(2/5)

(3.5/5, NOT an average)

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