eFilmCritic Forum Index eFilmCritic
Community Forum
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Die Hard 2

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    eFilmCritic Forum Index -> Reliving the Summer of 1990 - Week Seven
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
MP Bartley
HBS Monkey
HBS Monkey


Joined: 16 Jul 2002
Posts: 1818
Location: Sunderland, England

PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 6:11 am    Post subject: Die Hard 2 Reply with quote

..is a great sequel and one I always watch right after the first. Sure, it lacks a Hans Gruber, but it's still a top-notch flick.

But this - "with a few compelling plot twists and a horrific mid-movie airplane crash (actual innocent casualties!) to keep the stakes high." - is my only complaint with the film and one that never sits right. I mean, about a hundred people die here, from sweet old ladies to innocent stewardesses, and yet by the end of the film we're watching John and Holly lark about in the snow, Dennis Franz merrily rips up a parking ticket and Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow trills out over the closing credits.

It's a jarring change in tone and one I think the film is much the worse for.
_________________
"We hate the French! We fight wars against the French! Did all those men die in vain on the fields of Agincourt? Was the man who burned Joan of Arc just wasting good matches?"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
David Cornelius
HBS Monkey
HBS Monkey


Joined: 30 Nov 2004
Posts: 3401
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The change in tone is the least of its problems. The script is dreadful, much of the acting is worse. Blech.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
brianorndorf
HBS Monkey
HBS Monkey


Joined: 13 Jun 2005
Posts: 285

PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

David Cornelius wrote:
The script is dreadful


Logic, tone? What are the key problems?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
David Cornelius
HBS Monkey
HBS Monkey


Joined: 30 Nov 2004
Posts: 3401
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The dialogue is miserable (pretty much every line is lame, but sweet lord, anything involving Dennis Franz or the female reporter is just unwatchable), too many unnecessary bits are clumsily shoehorned in in an effort to duplicate moments from the first movie (the jerk reporter, Al Powell's Twinkies, the "Let It Snow" ending that suggests the filmmakers just didn't get why the song was a punchline the first time, etc.), and the plot lacks the cleverness of the original (this one's more action bits glued together, where the first film's action was organic). I'll praise the action sequences, which are terrific at times (the ejector seat shot is genius), but the set-ups to get us there are so clumsy they ruins the rest.

The premise also bugs me - Die Hard (and to a lesser extent, Vengeance) forced its hero into action because he had no way out, no way to get help. Die Harder lacks any sense of claustrophobia, and McClane's only hurdle is to convince the cops to help him out. I've mellowed on this a bit recently, though, realizing I'd probably be just as annoyed had the producers made a straight-up copy of the first film, so good on 'em for trying to push the franchise in a different direction. Still, the plot is underwhelming, and could've starred any generic action hero.

Ultimately, though, it comes down to: When you think of Die Hard 2, you think of awesome action. When I think of Die Hard 2, the first thing that always comes to mind is the awful reporter scenes.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
David Cornelius
HBS Monkey
HBS Monkey


Joined: 30 Nov 2004
Posts: 3401
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That said, despite my disappointment, I still saw Die Hard 2 twice in theaters. Because I loved Die Hard 1 that much.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
brianorndorf
HBS Monkey
HBS Monkey


Joined: 13 Jun 2005
Posts: 285

PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We'll always have INDY IV.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
MP Bartley
HBS Monkey
HBS Monkey


Joined: 16 Jul 2002
Posts: 1818
Location: Sunderland, England

PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 7:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dave makes a good point about the stinky dialogue, actually. The first has a beautiful yet bloody poetry to it, but the second is filled with lousy lines - the worst offender probably being - "What sets off the metal detector first - the shit in your head or the lead in your ass?"

I mean...it just doesn't make sense, even as an insult.
_________________
"We hate the French! We fight wars against the French! Did all those men die in vain on the fields of Agincourt? Was the man who burned Joan of Arc just wasting good matches?"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Kand El
HBS Monkey
HBS Monkey


Joined: 23 Sep 2004
Posts: 1684
Location: New York

PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

...which is exactly what gave "Paul Blart" its keen satirical edge.
_________________
I am L. Pete Morton.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Slyder
HBS Monkey
HBS Monkey


Joined: 12 Jul 2002
Posts: 1525
Location: Ogden, Utah, USA

PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 3:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not to mention is a tad more depressing than the first one.

The airliner crash is simply dreadful and saps any ounce of fun the movie had going.
_________________
Slyder
-----------------------------------
I saw more movies at Sundance than Ben Lyons did!!!

You can tell me that I've got no class, look around you and see who's laughing last - Rush
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address MSN Messenger
brianorndorf
HBS Monkey
HBS Monkey


Joined: 13 Jun 2005
Posts: 285

PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sheesh. Tough room.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Jack Sommersby
HBS Monkey
HBS Monkey


Joined: 12 Dec 2002
Posts: 4422
Location: Helena, Montana

PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The worst line in it that makes me cringe every time: "This is Buckwheat -- the clubhouse is open." Yikes!

And what about that gaping plot hole: All the tower had to do before their lines were cut off was to tell all the planes that the airport had been hijacked and go to their alternate locations. He tells some of the planes this but not all of them, which makes zero sense since they have at least an hour worth of fuel, so all of the planes could've easily gone to their alternate locations. (Oh, and why didn't they do much earlier what McClane did -- ignite a shitload of jet fuel in two straight lines so the pilots could see them?)

While William Sadler made great villains in "Rush" and "The Hot Spot", he was really bland here. Hell, his comic turn as the Grim Reaper in the "Bill & Ted" sequel was oodles more effective. Luckily, there was the always-reliable John Amos to pick up some of the slack.

As for Dennis Franz' character, Ebert applied a major double standard: In his thumbs-down review of the original, most of his criticism was directed at Paul Gleason's obtuse police chief, yet he gave thumbs-up to the sequel and didn't write a single negative word of Franz' equally-obtuse cop.

Finally, I'm so glad you guys cited the way-too-realistic plane crash, which indeed wildly jarred the tone from which it never really recovered. It was reminiscent of the ending of Executive Decision, where Kurt Russell and Halle Berry are doing a happy/flirting exchange on the ground while a mere 7 minutes before about 10-12 passengers were sucked out of the plane at high altitude when the main villain shot up the side interior.

Still, as others have noted, the action sequences are good even though the only one that truly impressed me was the acute timing of McClane using a metal pole to activate that automatic walkway to bring his gun to him before the bad guy got to it.
_________________
"Joe the Plumber -- you can quote me -- is a dumbass." -- Meghan McCain
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
brianorndorf
HBS Monkey
HBS Monkey


Joined: 13 Jun 2005
Posts: 285

PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I didn't suggest the thing was written by MENSA members! Smile

Just out of curiosity, how does everyone feel about the Takagi murder in the first film?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Jack Sommersby
HBS Monkey
HBS Monkey


Joined: 12 Dec 2002
Posts: 4422
Location: Helena, Montana

PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2010 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Takagi killing is a relevant thing to bring up considering his murder, just like the airplane crash in "DH2", was meant to "prove a point" that the villain was serious. But I guess the reason it didn't jar the tone for me was because poor Mr. Takagi was more than a bit of a fool for refusing to give up that vault code at the expense of his life over a non-life-threatening thing such as bearer bonds. I mean, every time I see that scene with Hans counting to three I want to whack Takagi upside the damn head and yell at him to give up the frigging code!

Another reason it doesn't affect as much is that a plane crashing with 200 passengers is something that could happen in real life, while a company CEO getting his brains blown out by an international terrorist who shares his taste in fine London suits probably wouldn't.
_________________
"Joe the Plumber -- you can quote me -- is a dumbass." -- Meghan McCain
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Slyder
HBS Monkey
HBS Monkey


Joined: 12 Jul 2002
Posts: 1525
Location: Ogden, Utah, USA

PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2010 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Takagi was a fool, but then again it is very understandable; the Japanese believe heavily in the "loss of face", and Takagi was simply defending the company's honor and his honor by not giving him the code. True, 7 seals and the code opening one gives the impression that he's acting foolishly, but had he given him the code, he would've been disgraced in Japan and worse maybe even ordered to commit sepuku there and there. So either way, he was toast.

However, you can't compare this with the airliner crash. Takagi was simply a stumbling block. Perhaps the point was better proven when Ellis took the bullet. 200 people dead including kids is just terrible, it's just completely out of whack for a movie that's supposed to be "popcorn fun". The tone just becomes depressing and simply lingers throughout the movie, never to recover.
_________________
Slyder
-----------------------------------
I saw more movies at Sundance than Ben Lyons did!!!

You can tell me that I've got no class, look around you and see who's laughing last - Rush
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address MSN Messenger
Display posts from previous:   
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Post new topic   Reply to topic    eFilmCritic Forum Index -> Reliving the Summer of 1990 - Week Seven All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group