It’s 2 AM and you awake with a jerk, alone in your fully-lit apartment and still on the couch. On TV, the credits of some movie you’ve already seen a billion times are scrolling by. It feels like rock bottom. And we know, because we’re just like you: single.
Need a movie to keep you company until you literally can’t keep your eyes open? Join us tonight when we pass out to Die Hard 2 [starting @ 10:50 p.m. on 5 Star Max]
Why we’ll try to stay up and watch it: At the risk of sounding completely insane, we’re of the mindset that the original Die Hard is one of the most influential movies of the last thirty years. Think: the Citizen Kane of the action genre, with John McClane, Hans Gruber and Nakatomi Plaza replacing Charles Foster Kane, James W. Gettys and Xanadu. Interestingly enough, the 15-year-old boys who run Empire Magazine seem to agree with us; on their list of greatest movie characters of all-time, John McClane comes in at #12 with Hans Gruber clocking in at #17.
If Die Hard is Adam’s rib, think of Die Hard 2 as the forbidden apple. It’s pretty much the standard boilerplate for every bad action sequel. Met with derision upon its release, and still viewed now as a pretty big mess (despite grossing $115 million dollars at the box office, it still has a 6.9 fan rating on IMDb), everything about Die Hard 2 trumpets itself as bigger. Throats get slit, icicles get pushed into eyeballs and an entire airplane crashes. No joke, like 500 people get killed during this movie. Directed by Renny Harlin (remember him?) even the tagline for Die Hard 2 was supersized: “Die Harder”. If you had to come up with one as a spoof, you probably couldn’t do better.
And yet with all that, we still love Die Hard 2, and make a point to watch it whenever we’re given the chance. It’s one of the films that always takes us back to our teenage years, when we would have not only loved a list where John McClane ranked in the top-12, but probably would have been pissed off because he wasn’t higher.
When we’ll probably fall asleep: It should go without saying that Die Hard 2 has a bigger cast than the original, including Dennis Franz, William Sadler, John Leguizamo and failed Republican presidential candidate (and soon to be Life on Mars guest star) Fred Thompson. In the role of “dickhead who gets in John McClane’s way”, Mr. Franz makes the best impression. He’s such a preening asshole, we always try to stay awake until the scene when John McClane shoots at him (with blanks) 95 minutes into the film, at 12:25 a.m. Yippee-kay-yay, motherfucker.