Die Hard 2: Die Harder

Friday, July 29 - Saturday, July 30, 2011

“DIE HARD 2, subtitled “Die Harder,” enters Bruce Willis in a decathlon of violence, and he places first in every event, including wrestling for guns, jumping onto conveyor belts, being ejected from cockpits, leaping onto the wings of moving airplanes and fighting with the authorities.

“Why is Willis so effective in a movie like this? Maybe because he combines a relatively athletic physique with the appearance and manner of Everyman. The title of the movie describes the basic plot device: Here is a man who will not give up, who will not admit defeat, who doggedly carries on in the face of adversity. The dangers and tests he faces would daunt a James Bond, but for this open-faced cop with the receding hairline, there is no choice. After all: “My wife is on that plane!” Again this time he plays a cop on vacation. He’s in Washington’s Dulles airport waiting for his wife’s flight to land on a crowded evening during the Christmas season. And scheduled into the same airport at the same time is a military jet bringing a South American drug tyrant to justice. A skilled band of terrorists, led by a former CIA operative, plans to seize control of airport operations by electronically bypassing the control tower. They’ll shut off the airport lights, leave dozens of planes circling overhead and then cause one flight to crash, as a warning. What they want is a fully fueled standby plane, ready to spirit the dictator to freedom.

Willis, who has a cop’s practiced eye, spots one of the conspirators, follows him into a luggage-handling area and discovers that a plot is afoot. But he can’t convince the chief of airport security (Dennis Franz), who resents an outside cop on his turf. After a killing and various other hints (including a plane crash), the security chief finally admits he may have a problem on his hands. But even then Willis’ work is not over, and by the end of the movie he is single-handedly taking on whole planeloads of mercenaries in a fight to the finish.

“Because DIE HARD 2 is so skillfully constructed and well-directed, it develops a momentum that carries it past several credibility gaps that might have capsized a lesser film.

“DIE HARD 2 is as unlikely as the Bond pictures, and as much fun. And during a summer when violence and mayhem are allowed to substitute for imagination and good writing, this is an especially well-crafted picture. It tells a story we can identify with, it has a lot of interesting supporting characters, it handles the action sequences with calm precision… terrific entertainment.” – Roger Ebert

  • Country USA
  • Rating R
  • Year 1990
  • Running Time 124 minutes
  • Director Renny Harlin

IFC Center does not generally provide advisories about subject matter or potentially triggering content in films, as sensitivities vary from person to person. In addition to the synopses, trailers and other links on our website, further information about content and age-appropriateness for specific films can be found on Common Sense Media, IMDb and DoesTheDogDie.com as well as through general internet searches.