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I was trying to think about when the Die Hard franchise "lost it", and whether having John MacLane in it was enough to call it "Die Hard", or whether there were other necessary ingredients. I thought that would be the third film, but while I wouldn't call Die Hard 2: Die Harder a complete failure, I think it's already lost the things that made the first movie special. One of these is the villain as a protagonist. There's an attempt to make William Sadler's character an interesting foil for MacLane, but there's just not enough there, especially given he has a boss. But what breaks the world of the first film is an attempt to give us something "bigger", and in so doing, make MacLane into something of a superhero. I think one of the key elements of the first film's uniqueness was an Everyman hero who almost didn't make it out of the situation alive, and stumbled into the sunset wounded and tired. This guy here is more quippy, survives things no one should without harm, and is somehow considered an expert in terrorism even though his ONE tangle with such types was a heist, NOT terrorism. When the film succeeds, it's thanks to its interesting environment and central dilemma, but when it's all said and done, it could have starred just about any action hero.
Liked it but the first one was way better.
I remember watching this movie and thinking "well, not too bad, but not as good as the other ones"… and I still feel that way.
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