When reviewing A Good Day to Die Hard last week I stated that I had never understood the hate for Die Hard 2 and that it remained my favourite of the sequels. I proceeded to get lambasted fairly thoroughly by commenters, who in large part saw the second film simply as a rehash of the first one, that paled in comparison to Die Hard With a Vengeance. I needed to rewatch the film and check for myself.
I stand by my statement.
Die Hard 2 is an excellent sequel, staying familiar enough to the first film to be more than just the further adventures of John McClane, while expanding on the formula sufficiently to justify its existence. It boasts an excellent supporting cast, some phenomenal set pieces and an eminently quotable script. As with the first film, the entire show is built around an incredibly likable performance from everyman hero Bruce Willis. In later installments he becomes too cocksure, too wise to what is going on, while here he mostly staggers around in disbelief that the same shit is happening to the same guy twice, either that or getting increasingly frustrated at the bureaucracy standing between him and kicking some serious terrorist butt. The results are fantastically good fun, and the Die Hard series has never gotten this good again.