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Saturday, 23 October 2010

Die Hard 2 (Renny Harlin, 1990)

Spirited if misguided attempt at improving the original by ramping up the action, threat and scope of the story, destroying in the process much of what made the first one great.

A film clearly far too ambitious for the writers and directors who worked on it, Die Hard 2 is sprawling, aimless and full of hundreds of screeching unsympathetic minor characters. This time we find Detective John McClane battling a confused mix of military, mercanery and drug lord against the admittedly atmospheric background of a Christmas-time Dulles International Airport.

The tense stand-offs of the first film are replaced with countless nonsensical overlong gun battles, the unique locations with huts and tunnels and the charasmatic villains with silly action figures. A few clever moments and pretty snowscapes raise the film now and then, but it's never more than a minute or two away from its noisy, clumsy roots.

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