Ossus Library Index Action Movie Index


Directed by Renny Harlin (1990, 20th Century Fox)
Starring Bruce Willis, Bonnie Bedelia, William Sadler, and Dennis Franz

An L.A. cop goes head to head with terrorists determined to free a drug smuggler by taking over a Washington airport.

View Count: Twice



2 stars

January 1st, 2000 on TV

    I remember when I first saw this movie.  I thought it was better than the first one.  Maybe that's because I hadn't seen the first one in a long, long time.  The first Die Hard was definitely better than the second one.  That's not to say that the second one was bad.  It just didn't have all the fun that the first one had. 

Firstly, the dialogue was pretty poorly written, in almost all cases.  The exception was some of the witty exchanges on the plane with Maclean's wife and the news reporter that she punched out in the last movie. 

There's really not much to say about this movie.  Maclean goes to the airport in Washington, D.C. to meet his wife.  He notices something suspicious, and gets into a gunfight in the baggage department.  The airport police are unwilling to do anything because it will slow down the traffic in an already busy Christmas season. 

Of course, that doesn't stop Maclean, who arrives in the tower at the same time as the terrorists strike, by disabling all runway lights and all landing systems.  Every effort to get around these problems leads to destroyed equipment and dead people.  One "lesson" leads to a plane crashing, because the pilot relied on the automatic landing control, which was tampered with, so he thought he was 200 feet higher than he actually was. 

The army is brought in, but Maclean goes after them himself, searching for, and finding, the control center for the terrorists operations.  After a strange firefight, the terrorists escape. 

The drug lord has landed and been taken to his escape plane, and everybody thinks the game is over, because the army unit is about to engage them at the hangar. 

But Maclean discovers that the terrorists were using blanks when shooting at the army, and comes to the conclusion that the army unit is part of the plan.  Of course, he's right, and ends up on the wing of the plane trying to prevent them from taking off.  Finally, he releases the fuel tank lid, and lights it on fire, destroying the escape plane. 

There was plenty of action, but I'm not sure if it's because it was a retread of the first movie, or what was wrong, but it didn't feel as intense, and it was less engaging. 

The moments on the plane were fun, if a bit poorly acted.  The journalist causing panic in the airport was typical, though it didn't really add to the movie in any way, except maybe to cause a panic that made it more difficult for Maclean to reach his destinations. 

The janitor was one of the real heroes, I think.  He was able to get Maclean where he was going, he grabbed a terrorist's coded phone, and he even drove Maclean where he needed to go on a couple of occasions. 

But there wasn't really much to the movie.


Back to Top

All reviews and page designs at this site Copyright (c)  by Warren Dunn, all rights reserved.