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Die Hard 2


Review

Die Hard 2: Die Harder,[1] is a 1990 action film, and the second installment of the Die Hard series. It was directed by Renny Harlin, and stars Bruce Willis as John McClane. The film co-stars Bonnie Bedelia (reprising her role as Holly McClane), William Sadler, William Atherton reprising his role as Richard (Dick) Thornberg, Franco Nero, Dennis Franz, Fred Thompson, John Amos, and Reginald VelJohnson who returns as Sgt. Al Powell who was in the first film.

Set once again on Christmas Eve, McClane is waiting for his wife to land at Washington Dulles International Airport when terrorists take over the air traffic control system. He must stop the terrorists before his wife’s plane and several other incoming flights that are circling the airport run out of fuel and crash. During the night, McClane must also contend with airport police, maintenance workers, and a military commander that doesn’t want his assistance.

The screenplay was written by Steven E. de Souza and Doug Richardson, adapted from the novel 58 Minutes by Walter Wager. The novel has the same premise but differs slightly: a cop must stop terrorists who take an airport hostage while his wife’s plane circles overhead. He has 58 minutes to do so before the plane crashes. Roderick Thorp (who wrote the novel Nothing Lasts Forever upon which the first Die Hard film was based) receives credit for creating “certain original characters” although his name is misspelled onscreen as “Roderick Thorpe.”

The film was followed by Die Hard with a Vengeance in 1995, and Live Free or Die Hard in 2007.

Plot

Two years after the events of Die Hard, John McClane (Bruce Willis), is waiting on Christmas Eve at Washington Dulles International Airport for his wife Holly (Bonnie Bedelia) to arrive from Los Angeles, spots two men dressed in army fatigues and carrying a package. Following them into the baggage area, McClane ends up in a fight, killing one of them while the other escapes. Learning the dead man is a mercenary who was thought to be killed in action, McClane believes something is about to happen.

Former U.S. Army Special Forces Colonel Stuart (William Sadler) and other former members of his unit, set up a base in a small church near the airport. They take over air traffic control systems, stating that they want to rescue Ramon Esperanza (Franco Nero), a drug lord and dictator of a South American country named Val Verde, who is flying in for a trial. They demand a Boeing 747 so they can escape to another country, and warn the Dulles controllers not to try to restore control. Upon learning about this, McClane becomes upset because his wife is on one of the planes which are circling above Washington with too little fuel to be redirected and therefore most likely to crash if the terrorists remain in control, and therefore decides to fight the terrorists.

Dulles communications director Leslie Barnes (Art Evans) heads to the unfinished Annex Skywalk with a SWAT team to establish communications with the planes. Stuart’s men ambush them, killing the SWAT team. Before they can kill Barnes, McClane bursts in and kills Stuart’s men. Stuart responds by using the instrument landing system to crash a plane, killing everyone on board.

A two-way radio dropped by one of Stuart’s men tips McClane off that Esperanza is landing. He gets there before Stuart’s men, but Stuart traps him in the cabin and throws grenades into the cockpit. McClane escapes through the ejection seat. McClane returns to the airport to find an Army Special Forces team led by Major Grant (Amos) has arrived. Barnes and McClane discover where the mercenaries are located and tell Grant and his team to raid it. However, the mercenaries escape on snowmobiles. McClane pursues them, but finds that the gun he picked up does not work. He realizes the mercenaries and Special Forces were using blanks in their guns and are working together.

McClane contacts the airport police to send out officers to intercept the plane. Reporter Richard Thornberg (Atherton), on the same flight as Holly, phones in a sensational take on what is happening at Dulles, leading to panic in the airport, and preventing the officers from reaching the plane. McClane hitches a ride on a news helicopter, which drops him off on the wing of the plane. Grant comes out to fight, but ends up sucked into the engine. Stuart kicks McClane off the plane, but McClane manages to open the fuel hatch. He uses a cigarette lighter to ignite the trail of leaking fuel, destroying the plane and killing all on board. The other planes, circling in the air, use the lighted trail to land, and Holly and McClane are reunited.

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