The Man Movie Encyclopedia – Die Hard 2: Die Harder

Die Hard 2
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Die Hard 2Star: Bruce Willis
Year: 1990
Director: Renny Harlin
“They say lightening never strikes twice…they were wrong”

“Oh man, I can’t fucking believe this. Another basement, another elevator. How can the same shit happen to the same guy twice?”

With that, Die Hard 2 further proved how epic, and bad-ass this series is. A lot of people would probably scoff at the fact that John is once again thwarting bad-guys by himself, during the week of Christmas, but this line negated any ill-will you could ever have toward this classic sequel.

The film starts off introducing our hero, John McClane, in a busy airport in Washington, DC. Holly’s on a flight to meet him, and he’s there to pick her up. There’s another pick-up being made at the airport, General Ramon Esperanza. He’s a dictator of Val Verde, the fictitious place used in film, such as the almighty awesome Commando. He’s being brought to the US to be tried for claims of drug-trafficking. Naturally, he’s got a plan. That plan is introduced to us in the form of a naked man doing a kata in a hotel room. It’s really quite the way to introduce someone, and why for all my job interviews, the first question I’m asked is “why are you naked?”. It gets their attention. He’s former Army Special Forces Colonel Stuart, and he’s got a gang all ready to make some shit happen. They set up a nice little air traffic control center of their own, and totally bogart all of the airport’s activity.

John notices some suspicious peeps, and brings the pain, as only he can. He tries to bring this to the attention of the airport’s head of security, Captain Lorenzo, but he’s a total sissy. He’s probably a vegan or something, meaning he’s physically incapable of being awesome like McClane. Well, eventually the airport peeps come around and realize bad shit is going down because the Colonel hijacks their equipment, and tells them that bad shit is going down. They attempt to steal back their ability to use their equipment, and end up getting stuck in an ambush. Colonel Stuart punishes them by causing an airplane to crash. Funny thing is, you know that while everyone is thinking about how tragic it is, they’re also thinking that it was easily the coolest thing they’ve ever seen.

John figures out where the General is landing, and gets the jump on him. Right before he’s able to make his escape, he’s locked in the cock-pit of the plane, while Colonel Stuart’s men throw about 9-10 grenades in there. But I have to ask, are these grenades equipped with a child-lock or something? Because it takes the grenades something like, 20 seconds to blow up after the pin is pulled. He’s able to hit the ejector seat just in time, creating another legendary moment in Die Hard history. So many times I’ve wished to be launched into the sky via an ejector seat while the ground beneath me blows up. Such as when I’m at work. Or I see a fat person driving for 20 minutes in a parking lot in order to get a close parking spot. Or a woman is talking. Many reasons for wanting that seat.

So, an army team is brought in to get the drop on Colonel Stuart’s little temp base, but it turns out they’re in cahoots with them, and it’s all a ruse. This really pisses John off, and he was riding high because he killed a guy with an ice-sickle to the freaking eye-ball. So, he hops in a helicopter and gets dropped off on the wing of Colonel Stuart’s escape plane, causing said Colonel, and the General of the Special Forces crew to head out and get into some fist-a-cuffs. John sends the General into one of the engines, which is why I always send my girlfriend on to the wing of a plane to fight my battles. Always. The Colonel, if you’ll remember, practices naked karate, so he gets the jump on John, sending him off the wing, but not before John pulls the fuel dump, causing gallons to pour out as the plane takes off.

John lands with a thud, and before the plane can take off, he whips out his Zippo, and lights the gas trail, uttering the classic line “Yippie Ki Yay, Mr. Falco”. If you’re confused, well, that’s what he says when you watch it on TBS. No joke. Instead of just censoring it, he says “Mr. Falco.” Despite the fact there is no character named Mr. Falco. Brilliant.

The plane explodes, the bad guys go to hell, and all the planes kept in the sky are able to land now. Hoorah, baby.

 

Man Movie Encyclopedia Tally:
1-Liners:
None
Guys Beat Up: 1
Guys Killed: 118 [I did my best to count the commercial plane load, and 83 was the number]
Swear Words: 115
Boobs: None
Explosions: 8
Slow-Motion Scenes: 40
Car Chases: 1
Chases on Foot: 1
Broken Bones: None
Fight at a Motel? No
Guy Get Girl? Yes
Guy Smoke Cigarettes? Yes

 

Man-Facts:
Much like the first Die Hard film, this one is based on a book. 58 Minutes by Walter Wager.

Denver was being a bit of a bitch during filming, and was unusually snowless, so they had to import a good amount of it.

The General comes from Valverde, which is the fictitious land of many a bad-dude, apparently. Valverde was the place that Arnold was headed to in Commando, before he lept from the plane.

Renny Harlin’s big break out was A Nightmare On Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, then a cool 3 years later he was behind the wheel of another major blockbuster, Cliffhanger.

 

Box-Office Business:
Released by Fox Pictures, DH2 was created on a substantial budget increase from the original, $70 million, it opened up July 6th, 1990, to 2,507 theaters. It came in at #1 with a weekend total of $24,744,661.

It ended up bringing in $240,031,094.

 

C’mon Bennet, Let’s Party:
Die Hard 2 is sort of the Temple of Doom of the series, as most of the fans consider it to be the weakest of the series. I’m not one of’em, as every time I watch a Die Hard, I consider that one my favorite. This entry has so many things to love. The atmosphere really feels like they’re desolate, and no one is going to come and save them, and the snow creates an awesome, and original look. The character of Captain Lorenzo is one of those good-guy who’s an asshole type that you basically just want to dump a blank clip from an automatic machine gun at. The bad-guys really step it up in this one as they crash an entire plane full of innocent people for no good reason. So you’re just waiting to see John stick an ice-sickle into some orifice.

This is a true sequel, in that all the main characters are back, and it feels like a continuation of the first. It’s a hell of a film, and more than earns the right to be called Die Hard.

5 Out Of 5 Head-Butts

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About the Author

Caliber Winfield
Caliber "Nickname" Winfield is a writer from the Pacific Northwest who in one day was mistaken for both Dwayne Johnson & Spider-Man. He currently runs Str8 Gangster, No Chaser [scrublife.wordpress.com] a site where he loudly announces his displeasure for Chuck Lorre sitcoms, and his love for the original Karate Kid trilogy. He also has a book available for sale on amazon.com, The Man Movie Encyclopedia Vol. 1. It's been endorsed by New York Times Best-Selling author Maddox, and has received only 5 star reviews. He also street fights for money like Jean-Claude in Lionheart.
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