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Vulcan Stev Family movie review: Die Hard 2

Bruce Willis …  Lt. John McClane
Bonnie Bedelia …  Holly McClane
William Atherton …  Richard Thornburg
William Sadler …  Col. Stuart
Reginald VelJohnson …  Sgt. Al Powell
Franco Nero …  Gen. Ramon Esperanza
John Amos …  Maj. Grant
Dennis Franz …  Capt. Carmine Lorenzo
Art Evans …  Leslie Barnes
Fred Dalton Thompson …  Trudeau
Tom Bower …  Marvin
Sheila McCarthy …  Samantha ‘Sam’ Coleman
Don Harvey …  Garber
Tony Ganios …  Baker
Peter Nelson …  Thompson

Plot synopsis from IMDb: Once again, New York cop John McClane is in the wrong place at the wrong time – this time he’s waiting for his wife’s plane to arrive at Washington’s Dulles Airport when he uncovers a plot to sabotage the airport’s landing system. The criminals wish to free a drug baron being extradited to America for trial by holding the airport to ransom until they all safely escape on another plane. However, if they’d known that Holly McClane was on a flight home to the very airport they were hijacking, they would have picked another day.

1990 * 20th Century Fox * 124 mins
Rated R for violence and language

Vulcan Stev: 1.6 pointed ears

Unlike most sequels which give you more of the same, this sequel actually feels like a continuation of the previous film.  The McClanes have reconciled.  John has moved to L.A. and is waiting for his wife to come to DC to spend Christmas with the extended family.  In that sense the movie is a decent sequel.  Yes this movie still suffers from an excess of language (what is Hollywood’s obsession with the F*bomb?), yes the violence is overdone in some scenes.  However it manages to give us everything we like in the first movie without being a re-hash.  My BIGGEST problem with this film is the notion that an elite strike team of America’s military is willing to sell out their country for drug money.

This film continues the premise of someone being disingenuous about their objectives.  In the other three films of the franchise it’s the “terrorists” who aren’t completely honest about what they want.  In this movie it’s the military that is portrayed as something other than what they claim to be.   I’m not sure how the movie could have been written without using the military as the traitors, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.

PIT #2: 1.5 pointed ears
The plot device of telling McClane to stay out of it and McClane not listening to anyone all to save his wife was very inspiring to me.  To me this version of the John/Holly relationship is what should’ve continued through the series.  The  language and blood could’ve been toned down as well.

PIT #3: 2 pointed ears
It was pretty cool that McClane was the only one who accomplished anything even though nobody wanted  him to help.  The terrorists really thought about the whole situation.  Too often in the movies the villains are pretty stupid.  I thought it was pretty unique idea that the army unit was in league with the terrorists.

5.1 pointed ears out of 6
The violence and language take what is a nice story of a man doing EVERYTHING he can to save the woman he loves, and bring it down a notch.  Just because blood spatters during a real gunfight doesn’t mean we need to see it in every scene.  Again not a family movie.

March 16, 2010 Posted by | Movie Reviews, Movies | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Vulcan Stev Family movie review: Die Hard

Bruce Willis …  Officer John McClane
Bonnie Bedelia …  Holly Gennaro McClane
Reginald VelJohnson …  Sgt. Al Powell
Paul Gleason …  Dep. Chief Dwayne T. Robinson
De’voreaux White …  Argyle
William Atherton …  Richard Thornburg
Hart Bochner …  Harry Ellis
James Shigeta …  Joseph Yoshinobu Takagi
Alan Rickman …  Hans Gruber
Alexander Godunov …  Karl
Bruno Doyon …  Franco
Andreas Wisniewski …  Tony
Clarence Gilyard Jr. …  Theo
Joey Plewa …  Alexander
Lorenzo Caccialanza …  Marco

1988 * 20th Century Fox * 131 mins
Rated R for violence and language

Plot synopsis from IMDb: Tough New York cop John McClane finds himself in a tight situation when an office building in Los Angeles is taken over by terrorists. Apart from himself, everyone else in the building – including his wife – is held at gunpoint while their captors spell out their demands. The F.B.I. are called in to survey the situation, but John McClane has other plans for the terrorists…

Vulcan Stev: 1.6 out of 2 pointed ears.

The film that made Bruce Willis a movie star, this is one of the first “violent” films I actually went to see in the theater.  I’ll admit to having a squeamish side (needles creep me out more than snakes do Indiana Jones), I don’t like the sight of blood and this movie has quite a bit.  Definitely a movie of its time period, the story still holds up and with a few minor rewrites the story could be told again today.  The violence is not overly gratuitous but it can be excessive.  The language on the other hand is a little too gratuitous, F-bombs abound.   The whole “terrorism is a front for massive theft” plot, although unique at the time, has been done to death (no pun intended) and in today’s political climate doesn’t seem quite as entertaining.

PIT #2:  1.2 pointed ears
Even though this is the first movie of the franchise, it is the last one that I saw (darn little brother watching movies on his day off from school when I’m not home).  The language was a little too gratuitous for my tastes.  The action seemed minor compared with what comes later.

PIT #3: 2 pointed ears
This was a cool movie.  I liked the fact that nobody believed him about the terrorists until they were getting shot at themselves.  McClane’s antagonism of the terrorists was also very cool.  I also like the fact that McClane is not above talking to himself.

4.8 pointed ears out 6
This is not a family friendly movie.  Language and violence are pervasive throughout.  The violence can be needlessly gory at times as well.  Older teens should have no problem with this flick but only you can determine what is appropriate for your family.

March 13, 2010 Posted by | Movie Reviews, Movies | , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments