One of the best sheer action sequels ever made, DIE HARD 2 holds up beautifully 17 years after its blockbuster success in theatres.
This time around, John McLane (Bruce Willis at his best) is waiting for his wife to arrive at Dulles Airport in DC when a major terrorist plot freezes air traffic and turns the airport into ground zero.
Willis's surrounding cast this time is just as good as the first, with William Sadler (The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile) as our lead terrorist baddie, Franco Nero (Camelot) as an international bad dude at the center of the trouble, Dennis Franz (NYPD Blue) in fine form as the head of airport security and William Atherton, who returns from the original Die Hard to play the world's most obnoxious TV reporter.
Bonnie Bedelia is fun as Holly McLane and Reginald VelJohnson puts in a short but effective turn as Al from the first film.
If you're going to create a sequel to one of the biggest action hits in film history, this is the way to do it.
Huge chases on foot and on snowmobile, massive explosions involving fully loaded airplanes (yeah, maybe I shouldn't have watched this on a flight now that I think about it...) and plenty of Mclane one-liners.
WIllis is perfectly self conscious throughout, making remarks about how in the hell this can happen to him twice. It's funny without breaking the third wall, but well played.
He is a one-man wrecking crew and up for anything, carrying the entire film on his back in style. This is the early 90's when he owned the box office and it's easy to see why.
Director Renny Harlin made his big budget debut with this film and he brings a sense of DO IT BIG to everything, as does Michael Kamen's full orchestra action score throughout.
At a little over 2 hours, DIE HARD 2 moves fast and furious, delivering everything you could want in a big budget sequel.
It's better than you remember and gets an A.
Followed in 1995 by Die Hard With A Vengeance.