Die Hard 2

A sequel-that’s-not-as-good-as-the-first good time!

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Never seen the movie? Me neither! Watch the trailer here.

With Evan Kuhn

This is one of my favorite movies because:

Die Hard is the greatest action film of all time.  Period full stop. Every action film for the next decade copied its playbook note for note. Die Hard II included, which was such a blatant retread of the first film that, in being a goofy hack-job, it actually does an even better job exemplifying all the stupid dumb fun tropes of action films.  And really, I love my country, and you can’t understand America without loving this film.  All this country needs to save the day is one middle-aged, alcoholic white guy with a shitty attitude, a pathological mistrust of authority, and an abiding belief that paranoid thoughts about foreigners and well-groomed men will blow the lid off a massive communist conspiracy threatening to bring this country down.  Classic!

I am shocked Darch hasn’t seen this because:

I figured she, too, was a red-blooded American who loved watching explosion-porn glorifying heroes suspicious of accents.  And, films that take themselves super-seriously in spite of their utter ridiculousness.  Pure popcorn flick.  I thought Darch cared about the good things in life.

The three parts I’m most excited for Darch to see are:

1.  Snowmobile shootout chase scene (complete with jumps and mid-air explosions!)

2.  The moment when it becomes totally clear to the audience Die Hard II is hackjob re-hash of the first, and John McClain asks himself non-ironically “Another basement, another elevator. How can the same shit happen to the same guy twice?”

3.  The bad guy doing naked ninja morning yoga watching TV

Darch

I’m pretty sure this movie is about:

Christmas. Everyone always says that. I think in the first one like Snape is trying to terrorist attack a fake reality Chrysler building during a party. So I’m guessing in this one, maybe it’s like Bruce Willis’ last week on the job and he’s about to retire, but then another city calls and is like “we’ve gotten these threatening messages, we need an expert.” And then Bruce Willis is classically like “I’m too old for this shit.” RIGHT???

Famous scenes/lines I think are in this movie:

I know in the first one a wrecking ball comes in through a window and Bruce says Yippie-ky-aye Motherfucker and everyone cheers and stuff (Thanks Bobby Moynihan). So, there will probably be a moment where he says it and fans of the first movie FREAK OUT. Also I’m predicting a chase scene, a fight scene and a scene where Bruce has to outsmart Snape2.

I haven’t seen this movie because:

It’s really still up for debate if I’ve seen the first one. Since I don’t think I have, I’ve never ventured to see the second one. Also it’s a thing people love so I guess in my high school anarchist youth I avoided it? Who knows. High schoolers, amirite?

Darch types in gray over here.

Evan types in red over here.

Evan and I have already shared a whole pizza. Bonding. Check.

—WE REMEET BRUCE, A CHARACTER WE LOVE FROM THE FIRST MOVIE—

Wow the mise en scene is tremendous.  How lifelike, like actual New York!  We’re real people too Hhahahahaha new Yorkers are meaaaan!

I feel like people aren’t born dicks, but as soon as they are towing someone’s car, they become one.

You know this is a Hollywood film because there are lots of extras.  You know this is the 90s because there’s an obsession with people watching media.  

A movie about airport security? So ahead of it’s time.

—WE MEET THE BAD GUY(S)—

Hello eastern looking white guy naked doing yoga.  Watching himself on TV getting a power boner.  He looks like  a Nazi.  Not the be trusted.  

AIRPHONES??????? The 90’s were a crazy time.

How 90s.  So hip.  So aware of media.  It’s everywhere.  Like, TV, man.  Bad guys, good guys, everybody.  It’s like WE are them, watching the media too!  We’re in the story…

—WE MEET MORE BAD GUYS IN A CHURCH—

Anytime anyone ever shows up to your house/church and is like “Routine maintenance” and they didn’t schedule an appointment, you’re dead.

I love that Bruce wanted to leave his car in the tow-away zone and he’s already been sitting in the airport for like an hour. 

This film plays into the fantasies of nerdy 4chan gamergate types, by propping up a hero whose paranoid thoughts about strangers lead to glory and getting back together with your wife.

—FIRST TIME BRUCE IS RIGHT AND NO ONE BELIEVES HIM—

“Is there a cop on duty around here?” “Uh, airport police.” WOW give them some credit.

Hmmm let’s see… a shoot out in a room with a bunch of conveyer belts… where is this going?

Ha!  John McClane, you’re so handy, taking objects from your surroundings to beat men into submission.  A true MacGyver

Okay that bad guy just shot the spray can out of Bruce’s hands and then can’t hit ANY PART of Bruce a second later?

What kind of airport is this? They have a suitcase flattening device in the baggage check area and they just have a stash of children’s bicycles? Not all of those bikes are going to the same place.

Oh MAN!  Incompetent bureoucracy!  Always getting in the way of the lone ranger.

—WE MEET (OR REMEET) AN ANNOYING CHAUVENIST—

I feel like that dude on the plane was in the last movie and when I saw him I was supposed to be like “Oh no, this guy again????”

What the the hell is this film trying to do showing all this “Media”?  Why the hell are there so many journalists?  Why is everyone watching TV?  What are they getting at here?

Why is this Aryan dude carrying around an empty gun? If I was a bad guy my clip would ALWAYS be full.

—NO COP BELIEVES A COP THEY KNOW IS FAMOUS—

“I know what I’m doing. We’re going to dust it, and take the pictures and…” Wow, don’t be too technical.

“What sets the metal detectors first, the lead in your ass or the shit in your brains?”  DAYUM John laying the law with them muddy metaphors!

“Yeah we got a new SOP for DOAs from the FAA.” Get ‘em Bruce. Really confuse them with basic acronyms that even I know.

—WE MEET  A NEW BAD GUY ON A PLANE, BECAUSE THERE ISN’T ENOUGH GOING ON YET—

No swears so far in this Spanish scene. Getting ready to show it in my class…

This film, if nothing else, gave us the eternal glory that is Family Matters.  RIP Carl

So… Bruce is essentially using this woman who is CURRENTLY AT HER JOB as his secretary.

I love rooting for heroes who get random smiles from women.

WHO IS IN CHARGE of this reporter? “Uhhhhh poodle face, go to the airport and just try to find a story.”

The 90s had such a boner for cynicsm.  It like, spoke to authenticity.  90s had such a boner for authenticity.  

Soo I may have missed something but one of the cops that thinks nothing bad is happening just went to this man in a control tower (where the important people DO NOT hang out) and then Bruce shows up and everything got realllll serious.

—^^^—

I love that Bruce PROVES that some guy that faked his own death was planting something in an airport and everyone is like, yo chillll homie.

Killer cuts to dudes spitting jargon on phones, cuts to systems going haywire.  Wow.  

I’d LOVE to read the stage directions for this part. “Workers, pick up phones and yell numbers into them.”

“I like films without female characters.” – Men

Okay Bruce has had enough time to discover a crime, kill a guy, go to the police department, come back to the airport, steal the dead guys fingerprints, send them to his man, run the prints through Interpol and bring the results to his captain. HOW WAS HE JUST GOING TO LEAVE HIS CAR IN THE TOW-AWAY ZONE?

—THE FIRST PLAN IS IN PLAY—

… Airport SWAT Team?  Baller.  

Bruce essentially just said “Oh boy oh gee, same plot again!

They do burnt-out veteran pretty bad in this film.  Like:  He’s a Vietnam archetype, but like was in Korea or WWII.  Soooo…

Sooooo Bruce sneaks through an elevator shaft into what is clearly someone’s office and he has the gall to ask “Who are you?” “Uhhhh the guy that works here?”

So far the only people competent at their jobs have been Bruce and his impromptu secretaries.

—THE BAD GUYS WERE WAITING AT THE END OF THE PLAN—

T-1000 had the second great kill line!

I LOVE how thrown off this SWAT team was when they turned off the moving walkway.

I’m so glad this film keeps up the trope of John exploring municipal infrastructure on hands and knees

I’m so glad this film keeps up the trope of bad guys dressing up like harmless tradesmen

“STAY DOWN” the only competent person yells at the guy that immediately gets up and runs away.

As a person dazzled only by explosions, thanks Bruce for explaining the plot of the movie.

—BACK TO THE INFLIGHT PLOT—

This reporter harassing John McClane’s wife is the platonic ideal of smug-liberal-media-elite-weasel and this actor’s got a bright career

Look at the cabin. There’s women! Children! Old people! The stakes are high!

WOAH  SLO MO FIREBALL PLANE THAT’s an amazing miniature!

—EVERYONE IS TRYING TO GET THE RADIOS BACK ON—

I love that everyone just keeps yelling at this black guy to “Figure it out!” when no one knows how complicated their request is.

 

Michael, you’re a sound guy for a radio station, can you hack into the control tower and briefly explain the innerworkings of an airport? Thank you.

—THEY BRING OUT THE BIG GUNS WITH SOME BIG PLANS—

DAAAMN I looove when higher branches of gov’t take over authority.  My fave.  Just like Die Hard the First when the FBI arrived to take over the scene.  

“Lights. Let’s get giant lights.” Sounds like a pitch meeting at SNL.

Bruce Willis HATES this new platoon and he’s already walking around calling everyone by name.

I’d love to make a flm comprosied of nothing but hallway shots of dudes walking and yelling.  This film’s already 62% that.

We only have this one method of communicating, and we don’t know for how long, so let me take the next fifteen minutes to give you every detail, I hope we don’t get cut—

—JOHN TAKES MATTERS INTO HIS OWN HANDS. AGAIN. THE PLOT REALLY STARTS NOW. PROBABLY—

I love how John’s best friend remains a paranoid weirdo living in a HVAC room.  

I like the idea that they were like “We have this great church set up, the Aryan guy should make an ominous speech from here.” Then they couldn’t write the speech so they were like, just start the speech and we’ll have someone cut you off.

Wow.  Castro/Franco Nero murdered a dude.  Don’t know how that happened.  Doesn’t matter.  Bad hombre.

So we’re to believe that they are flying a SERIOUSLY dangerous criminal and they just put ONE guard in the back with him? I have seen Con Air and that shit don’t fly.

 

John is bribing the janitor to commit federal felonies by promising him a warmer coat.

—WE FOUND THE ONE CHANCE BECAUSE WEIRDO JANITOR HAS MAPS OF THE AIRPORT THAT NO ONE ELSE HAS—

Oh course Bruce has to run through that one hallway that every building has where steam just blows out of pipes at random intervals.

Damn.  If my dictator could land a cargo jet blind at midnight in a Christmas blizzard, I’d hella coronate the fucker.

—ARYAN DUDE IS PISSED HIS NOT WELL THOUGHT OUT PLAN IS GOING AWRY—

“It’s some cop. What’s going on?” “See, it’s the main character of the movie…”

These grenades have the LONGEST load time ever.  Like, I’m counting right now.  IT’s been already 15 seconds.  And nothing’s going on.  They keep throwing more in.  It’s fucking FOREVER.

Really putting all your eggs in one basket here. OR all your grenades in one cockpit rather.

OMG that ejector seat close-up spin composite shot of John’s cussing face an enduring childhood memory

—THE SITUATION ON BRUCE’S WIFE’S PLANE IS GETTING DIRE—

If Sully were flying this plane it would already be in the Hudson.

“Listen here Bruce, no one is taking any action except for you and we’re pissed at you for it!”

—FINALLY, THAT CHURCH THE AUDIENCE HAS KNOWN ABOUT THE WHOLE MOVIE COMES INTO PLAY—

I like how John immediately befriends anybody willing to ride his crazy-hunch train.  “Abandoned Church?  Miles away?  Gotta be the bad hombres!”

Classic-woman-can’t-wait-to-call-the-man-,-his-beeper-goes-off-and-now-the-bad-guys-know-where-he-is.

I love that the black guy was like, “Hey we found the bad guys over here.” and immediately the fat ass cop is like “Dammit, you weren’t supposed to leave.” How bout a fucking thank you?

OH yeaahhh now I remember why the media presecene.  This movie is so totally obsessed with truth/reality/appearances.  Like omg, truth is fabricated and we’re aware of it! 90s90s90s90s90s90s90s90s90s

—ABOUT TO GO INTO THE CHURCH—

All the bad guys just changed from orange clips to blue. IS that like changing from stun to kill?

I’m glad they’re wearing Black and White so we can tell who’s good and bad!

They came in cars, left in snowmobiles.  Now that’s a party.

Dude’s pulling wheelies.

Sorry to report, but Bruce is dead. Like really dead after this.

Melissa’s intuition was right.  BLANKS!

This is the only time “Grenada” was a reference for Active Veterans.  Like:  Gulf War I hadn’t happened, and Vietnam peaked 20 years ago.  

 

—AS A PLOT TWIST, NO ONE BELIEVES BRUCE—

This cop is really doubling down on Bruce can’t do anything right. I’m sorry, Bruce has not been wrong ONCE this whole movie, or in the last movie. Like maybe give him a fucking chance?

John is bad with words.  The only way he can convince people is by shooting them.

The time line in this movie makes no sense whatsoever. The fuel emergency blinking light was going off like three plot twists ago.

I love that, when we met this general, he was like “oh, the main bad guy? We worked together, we fought together, he’s my best friend and I’d die for him.” And everyone was like, “Not suspicious at all.”

I don’t know what’s to stop their plane from being shot down by, oh, I don’t know, ANY FUCKING PART OF THE MILITARY!

Listen, authority figures:  If you don’t want John McClane to do something, don’t tell him not to do it.

—BRUCE IS LIKE, I’LL JUST GET ONTO THE PLANE SOMEHOW—

So everyone on the flight is freaking out about how dangerous this is and Bruce is about to jump onto the plane. That’s going to freak everyone out.

No plane in this movie is travelling over 30mph.

So… Bruce is preventing the plane from taking off by… holding a wing flap open? I’d love to hear Bournoulli’s take on all of this.

“I’ve got enough friends!”  — John, murdering a dude.  This confirms my theory John hates people who fight for friendship and solidarity.  

Basically Bruce’s move is catching knives that are plummeting toward his chest.

I’ll never understand why bad guys choose one-by-one handheld combat when guns are obviously the choice.  I mean, I get it:  They’re like pervy for pain, and wanna show off their sweet naked yoga ninja skills.

Bruce dude, you’re fighting a dude that does this move every morning naked. You may lose this one.

Cigarette Lighter?  Glad John didn’t stop smoking after all.

They totally shot the two reaction shots of John watching exploding airplanes on the same day.  Same angle, same lighting, same number of deaths.  Doesn’t matter to John.  

—THE MOVIE SORT OF ENDS IN A FIERY CRASH AND THEN SOME SOOTY CELEBRATIONS—

NO ONE IN THIS MOVIE IS EVER BROUGHT TO JUSTICE.

The black traffic controller saving the day still didn’t get a promotion at year-end.

The things a paranoid loner’ll do to fuck a lady.

“They told us there were terrorists at the airport” “Yeah Baby, it’s Christmas.”

Oh wow!  The media learned a lesson!   They found standards of decency.

“HAHAHA I’ll never clean this up! What’s my job here?” Yelled the janitor from his airport golf cart.

Overall Rating: B-

Comments: I know I was warned that this was the worse of the first two movies but I was still a little shocked at the cheesiness of the movie. Evan mentioned that the movie was supposed to almost exactly copy the first movie (which is fine, bands do it with albums all of the time) but it was weird to me that they referenced the first movie so many times. ESPECIALLY since I’ve never seen the first movie (maybe, it’s hard to tell anything at this point). I liked the movie and I get why people loved the first one (I think) and how people could love how poorly this one mimics the first one, but I think I’ll just stick to classics from now on.

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