Die Hard 2 (1990) dir. Renny Harlin

12/19 & 12/23 @BRATTLE


In the summer of 1990, the fine folks 20th Century Fox decided that the world had not yet had enough of wisecracking tough guy John McClane – and you know what? They were right.

This is not to say that the two films are really all that similar, however. While both star Bruce Willis as the aforementioned McClane and feature a multitude of terrorists trying to throw a serious wrench in the McClane family’s Christmas Eve, the two are fairly distinct beasts. A different director and a different source book (by a different author, featuring a different divorced NYPD officer trying to stop terrorists on Christmas) certainly contribute to this, as does an increased reliance on explosions and easy entertainment over the clever, tense thrills of the original. In a way, it’s the Terminator 2 to Terminator.

In keeping with that comparison, Die Hard 2 is by no means bad – just a lot more ridiculous. Set in an airport on Christmas Eve on year after the events of the original, McClane once again faces a slew of terrorists standing between him and his wife Holly (Bonnie Bedelia). This time, however, she’s trapped in a plane being kept up in the air due to a nefarious plot and a shortage of fuel. Of course, if these terrorists think they can keep an everyman NYPD officer from his wife, they have another thing coming.

Die Hard 2
dir. Renny Harlin
124 min

Part of the ongoing series: Alt-Xmas
Also screens 12/23 – in double feature with Die Hard!

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