Die Hard 2

1990

Die Hard 2

Critics Consensus

It lacks the fresh thrills of its predecessor, but Die Hard 2 still works as an over-the-top -- and reasonably taut -- big-budget sequel, with plenty of set pieces to paper over the plot deficiencies.

68%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 63

70%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 414,707
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Movie Info

"Another basement, another elevator...how can the same thing happen to the same guy twice?" asks John McClane (Bruce Willis), in what is doubtless the key question of this film. A year after foiling the terrorist takeover of a high-rise office building in the first movie, McClane is waiting to pick up his wife, Holly (Bonnie Bedelia), at Dulles International Airport just outside Washington, D.C., on Christmas Eve. Scheduled to arrive the same evening is Ramon Esperanza (Franco Nero), a South American political figure who is being brought to the United States to stand trial for his role in a drug-smuggling ring. However, a group of terrorists, led by renegade American military officer Col. Stuart (William Sadler), take control of the airport, scuttling radio transmissions and placing their own men in the control tower. Stuart and his men ensure that Esperanza's plane lands safely, and then demand that Stuart and his men be given a fully-fueled 747 and free passage wherever they choose to go. Otherwise, they will guide the many circling jets waiting for landing instructions into definite crash landings, killing the many passengers on board. Not willing to stand aside as terrorists once again threaten his wife's life, the wise-cracking McClane once again leaps into action to foil Stuart's plans and bring the passenger jets safely to the ground. William Atherton, John Amos, Dennis Franz, and John Leguizamo highlight the supporting cast. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Cast

Bruce Willis
as John McClane
Bonnie Bedelia
as Holly McClane
William Atherton
as Dick Thornberg
Reginald VelJohnson
as Sgt. Al Powell
Franco Nero
as Esperanza
William Sadler
as Col. Stuart
John Amos
as Capt. Grant
Dennis Franz
as Carmine Lorenzo
Art Evans
as Barnes
Tom Bower
as Marvin
Sheila McCarthy
as Samantha Copeland
Don Harvey
as Garber
Patrick O'Neal
as Cpl. Telford
Carla Tamburrelli
as Northeast Plane Stewardess
Ben Lemon
as Sergeant
Jason Ross-Azikiwe
as Second Sergeant
Anthony Droz
as Soldier
Steffan Gregory Foster
as Windsor Plane Copilot
Michael Francis Clarke
as Northeast Plane Pilot
Steve Pershing
as Northeast Plane Copilot
Tom Everett
as Northeast Plane Navigator
Jeanne Bates
as Older Woman
Colm Meaney
as Windsor Plane Pilot
Steffen Gregory Foster
as Windsor Plane Copilot
James Lancaster
as Windsor Plane Navigator
Greg Kovan
as Blue Light Team Member
Allan Berger
as Windsor Plane Passenger
Jessica Gardner
as Little Girl
Vance Valencia
as Foreign Military Plane Pilot
Gilbert Garcia
as Foreign Military Plane Copilot
Julian Reyes
as Young Corporal
Richard Domeier
as TV Cameraman
David Katz
as TV Soundman
Robert Lipton
as Chopper Pilot
Paul Abascal
as TV Director
John Rubinow
as TV Producer
Robert Costanzo
as Vito Lorenzo
Lauren Letherer
as Rent-A-Car Girl
Connie Lillo-Thieman
as Information Booth Girl
Ed DeFusco
as Morgue Worker
Charles Lanyer
as Justice Man
Bill Smillie
as Custodian
Dwayne Hargray
as Luggage Worker
John Cade
as Lobby Cop
David Willis Sr.
as Tow Truck Driver
Dominique Jennings
as TV Newscaster
Jerry Parrott
as Engineer
Danny Weselis
as Blue Light Team
Gregg Kovan
as Blue Light Team
Don Charles McGovern
as Lt.Sherman / Blue light Team
Bill Smille
as Custodian
Jeff Langton
as Blue Light Team
Danial Donai
as Blue Light Team
Bob Rocky Cheli
as Blue Light Team Member
Dale Jacoby
as Blue Light Team
Sherry Bilsing
as Stewardess - Northeast Plane
Karla Tamburrelli
as Stewardess - Northeast Plane
Amanda Hillwood
as Stewardess (Windsor Plane)
Felicity Waterman
as Stewardess (Windsor Plane)
Bob Braun
as Newscaster (WZDC)
Dominque Jennings
as Newscaster (WZDC)
Carol Barbee
as Newscaster (WZDC)
Robert Sacchi
as Engineer
Edward Gero
as Engineer
Jim Hudson
as Engineer
Thomas Tofel
as Engineer
Wynn Irwin
as Engineer
Ken Smolka
as Engineer
Martin Lowery
as Engineer
Dick McGarvin
as Engineer
Nick Angotti
as Engineer
Tom Finnegan
as Engineer
Rande Scott
as Engineer
Paul Bollen
as Airport Cop
Joseph Roth
as Airport Cop
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News & Interviews for Die Hard 2

Critic Reviews for Die Hard 2

All Critics (63) | Top Critics (17) | Fresh (43) | Rotten (20)

  • The filmmakers know the audience is challenging them to top themselves, and they've risen to the bait. Harlin and company build suspense the old-fashioned way. They earn it.

    Feb 6, 2018 | Full Review…

    David Ansen

    Newsweek
    Top Critic
  • This is the most cheerfully preposterous film of a jaw-dropping summer, which is not to say it's not fun, it's simply orchestrated Looney Tunes.

    Apr 3, 2015 | Full Review…
  • The summer's best sequel and most satisfying blockbuster has finally arrived. Die Hard 2 is a blast.

    Apr 3, 2015 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Even when the script wanders into cynical overkill, Harlin makes sure the violence has some impact, some moral consequence, by sketching in characters for a few representative victims.

    Apr 3, 2015 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • The filmmakers seem to be operating under the assumption that the way you top a successful movie is by making one that's louder, cruder and more violent.

    Apr 3, 2015 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • The screenplay is precariously supported by the chips on John McClane's shoulders. Fortunately, it is also designed to Willis' unique specs.

    Apr 3, 2015 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Die Hard 2

  • Feb 15, 2015
    The sequel is not quite so enthralling as the first, but it was a much worthier second outing than most films of the same vein seem to be.
    Gimly M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 21, 2013
    Not nearly as good as the first, but still a fun movie. Die Hard 2 hits all the beats you'd expect of it, and mostly does so successfully. The dialogue is as bad as usual, but that's not what you're here for anyway. It's a popcorn movie, and an enjoyable one at that. ~ C+
    Brad S Super Reviewer
  • Dec 04, 2013
    The first "Die Hard" was inspired by the novel "Nothing Lasts Forever", and this one is inspired by "58 Minutes", neither of which are related to each other, let alone John McClane, so for a while there, this series seemed to be on a mission to rip off as many thriller novels as it could. Shoot, as many action flicks as these, or at least this film rip off, I doubt that most people care, while the people who might care, due to their being downright in love with these films, are probably not smart enough to be big readers. I understand that these films make no pretense about being inspired by the novels in question, but I say, "rip off", because they're disrespecting "Nothing Lasts Forever" author Roderick Thorp enough by spelling his surname "Thorp[u]e[/u]" in the credits, and plus, I can think of a few people who would say that Walter Wager is being disrespected more just by their adapting "58 Minutes" to this in the first place. No, this film got fair reviews, and I subscribe to those sentiments, but come on, how bright can a film whose full title is "Die Hard 2: Die Harder" possibly be? They should have just said what everyone wants to hear: "Die Hard 2: John McClane vs. Django on a Plane Rigged With Explosives"! It's always nice to know that Franco Nero is alive, even if that reminder ironically comes in a film titled "Die Hard... 2: Die Harder" (That's such a lame subtitle, but boy, does it tell you just how hard people die in this film), and it's also nice when that film is entertaining. Yup, it's another fun little Christmas with the McClanes, but even though it's all fun and games when somebody's getting hurt, as surely as it was "hard" to ignore flaws out of the first "Die Hard" it is indeed "harder" to deny the flaws out of this follow-up (Are my puns lamer than this film's title yet?). It's debatable whether or not this film is as sharp as its predecessors, - which was still not as intelligent on the whole as it was in certain places - but it's decisive that this narrative has plenty of the natural limitations that secured the predecessor as underwhelming in a lot of ways, and are perhaps greater here, thinning out meat something fierce, and making matters all the worse by joining limitations in genuine bite with limitations in subtlety. If Steven E. de Souza's writing with Doug Richardson is more cartoonish and trite than de Souza's collaboration with Jeb Stuart on the predecessor's script, then it's just barely dumber, but the fact of the matter is that this effort has more than a few lame-brain elements in dialogue, characterization and overall storytelling that, on top of being kind of cheesy, are generic. Needless to say, there's plenty of laziness here, and it is most reflect in hopelessly predictable plotting that does very little, if anything at all to change up the traditional formula of action fluff pieces of this type and era, or even change up the formula from the previous film. In ways that are both good and bad, this film is way too similar to the original, only with less of what freshness there was in 1988's "Die Hard", in addition to an arguably less meaty story concept, though is at least sure to keep faithful to dragging. Almost ten minutes shorter than "Die Hard", this film is not as long, and therefore not as overdrawn as its predecessor, - whose potential for relatively extensive flesh-out is barely greater - but at just over two hours, it still takes longer than it should to tell a simple and even familiar story, and that does hardly anything outside of provide you with plenty of time to meditate upon the aforementioned shortcomings, both natural and consequential. The film subtly, but surely falls behind its predecessor, and let me tell you, I was still pretty underwhelmed by the original "Die Hard" that everyone remembers most, ostensibly because this film, being less meaty and fresh, is hardly memorable as anything more than a fun, but somewhat lazy piece of '80s/early '90s action thriller filler. Don't expect to walk out of this film remembering it all that clearly, but don't expect to walk into a totally fall-flat feature either, because in spite of many a limitation, the final product delivers on a fun factor that can even be detected in the thin story concept. As I've been saying time and again, this film's story concept is formulaic, as well as thin to begin with, and yet, this is still a fun premise, having only so much of the weight that was still lacking in the predecessor, but never losing so much momentum that it can't draw an entertaining narrative, with the fair bit of colorful intrigue that primarily powered predecessor. Of course, just as '88's "Die Hard" couldn't retain decency without director John McTiernan's reasonably inspired efforts, this film owes a lot of credit to director Renny Harlin for his bombastic, but well-paced storytelling, which sustains entertainment value through all of the aimlessness, especially when action kicks in. The action is hardly anything new, but it's ripe with explosive practical special effects to compliment tight staging, whose great deal of attention to damage done on the environment and even the lead, as well as some violence (Now that's what I call an "eye-cicle"; Ha-ha, ouch), reinforce a sense of consequence. Most all of the shootouts, brawls and, of course, plane threats carry quite a bit of tension, but in this thriller whose substance is limited, the action is mostly simply fun, and that really pumps up the entertainment value which drives the final product about as much as anything, including a worthy lead. I reckon most everyone is decent, but as surely as you can't see the original "Die Hard" with Frank Sinatra-I mean, without Bruce Willis, Willis delivers yet again as the driving onscreen force for this film, bringing back that classic action star charisma and presence, occasionally broken up by some effective dramatic beats to further build tension. Quite frankly, there is just not that much to compliment here, and what strengths there are seem to the exact same elements that you could compliment out of the predecessor, except here, the strengths aren't as fresh, if they were even all that fresh in the first place, resulting in a softening of bite. However, with that said, while the strengths in this film are diluted by their being so familiar, they were strong enough to give the predecessor a fair bit of momentum that carried it to decency, and no matter how much this effort treads familiar ground, it still carries that entertainment value with it, and while that's not enough to make a memorable thriller, it certainly gets the final product by as, at the very least, kind of fun, if you can get past all of the problems. When it's all said and done, more-or-less in the same way it was done and said before, natural shortcomings are stressed in concept by some lame-brain narrative elements, and in execution by a bombastic directorial atmosphere, genericisms and dragging, until the final product finally sputters out as underwhelming, yet not without being stabilized as entertaining by the lively direction, solid action and strong lead performance - courtesy of Bruce Willis - that prove to be enough to make "Die Hard 2: Die Harder" (Seriously, why?) a flawed, but fun follow-up. 2.5/5 - Fair
    Cameron J Super Reviewer
  • Aug 17, 2013
    An infuriating and brainless sequel that takes an endless long time for something to finally happen and needs every single character to act as a complete idiot so that the stupid plot can move on - like Dennis Franz as an unbearable moron who is always in the way.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer

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