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YMMV / Die Hard 2

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  • Angst? What Angst?: Stuart's men are not particularly shaken by Grant's run-in with their plane's engine turbine in their last moments before the craft is destroyed; by comparison, the coldblooded Stuart is shown to at least be somewhat perturbed by this last-second setback.
  • Adaptation Displacement: The film is based on the novel 58 Minutes by Walter Wager.
  • Ass Pull: McClane surviving the explosion of Esperanza's plane; who knew hand grenades took their sweet time exploding? Or subsonic cargo planes had ejection seats?
  • Catharsis Factor:
    • Seeing Stuart (even though his death scream is not shown), Esperanza and the others get blown up in the plane when McClane lights the gas is incredibly satisfying and matches Hans's demise as well in awesomeness.
    • The deaths of the other villains like Baker and Grant are also pretty satisfying, since they're all such evil bastards that their brutal deaths are entirely deserved.
  • Complete Monster: Colonel William Stuart is an anti-communist ex-military mercenary, who supported the politics of the cruel dictator and drug lord General Ramon Esperanza. After General Esperanza was imprisoned by US and prepared to be moved from South America to Washington Dulles International Airport to be imprisoned, he paid Stuart to gather up a squad of ex-soldiers and free him. To achieve this, Stuart organized the takeover of the airport, taking control of all the systems and rendering the planes above the airport—one of which carried McClane's wife—unable to land in a strong snowstorm. Holding the entire airport hostage, Stuart became angry when the airport tried to regain control of their systems, acting against his orders; in retaliation, Stuart caused a plane to crash, killing 230 people. Killing several more people, Stuart is determined to get his cash, at one point not even lifting a finger to help his old friend and partner Major Grant in his fight against McClane and ready to cause hundreds of more deaths if the airport refuses to follow his demands.
  • Critical Research Failure: Aviation doesn't work that way. At all. In fact, Airplane! is probably more accurate.
    • Colonel Stuart's plans involve shutting down air traffic control at Washington Dulles International Airport so as to prevent interference with his operation. This creates drama via the fact that a lot of planes are unable to be given instructions to land at the airport, so they're all circling the airport with dwindling fuel supplies. Except that FAA regulations state that all passenger airline flights are required to carry enough fuel to not only fly from their origin airport to their destination, but also enough divert to another major airport close by in case of an emergency (and any airport capable of landing an aircraft in distress must do so), like the one depicted in the film. The film takes place in Washington DC, where there are three major airports: Reagan National is explicitly stated by Trudeau to be shut down, but there should still be Andrews Air Force Base, which is more than capable of landing most civilian aircraft, since it is where they land Air Force One. Furthermore, Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport is also close by, and the distance to Philadelphia International Airport or any of the three New York City airports (Newark, LaGuardia and JFK) isn't terribly far either, but for some reason the only alternate airports Barnes can think of are Memphis, Nashville, and Atlanta (to be fair, Atlanta at minimum would also work as a diversion destination). In addition, Trudeau could have just as easily used a telephone to call up Reagan National, Andrews AFB, or BWI, and asked one of them to contact the planes circling Dulles, since there was nothing wrong with their radios. In short, either the snowstorm is so bad that it shut down almost all airports on the East Coast bar Dulles (making it improbably apocalyptic), or the suspense of the movie never should have happened.
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    • There's also the whole "Glock 7" debacle. In reality, Glock pistols are a combination of a polymer frame and metal slide and moving parts, as opposed to porcelain like John claims. Even if such a pistol did exist and couldn't be detected by X-Ray machines, the ammunition would be. Further, Glock is Austrian, not German, and has never made a pistol designated "Glock 7"; their model designations start at 17 and increase (for record, the pistols depicted here are Glock 17s).
    • And John also claims that the gun cost more than one makes in a month (or year?); the guns are relatively inexpensive. More than $1.98 though. Glocks cost around $400-$500, making them midrange and quite affordable, especially on a policeman's salary.
      • It could loop back over into Fridge Brilliance as Lorenzo is shown to be an idiot who's not interested in either protocol or hearing whatever John has to say, so John could be deliberately making things up just to try and get some level of cooperation out of him. The movie doesn't do anything to show how the firearms were supposed to be undetectable through metal detectors, so it's just John being John to an Obstructive Bureaucrat.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: John's little quip after getting the prints off of Cochrane's corpse, which has already hit rigor mortis by the time John releases his hand: "I don't think this one's gonna make it, boys".
  • Evil Is Cool: The martial artist Big Bad Colonel Stuart and his special forces-trained henchmen (including a Retroactive Recognition Robert Patrick, in a role that would lead him to his Star-Making Role one year later in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and a voice-dubbed John Leguizamo) in the second film.
  • Fridge Brilliance: When Major Grant gets on the walkie talkie and snarls threats at Stuart, Stuart and his men are smiling broadly, seemingly unaffected. But the revelation that Grant is working with Stuart has it make a lot more sense as they're enjoying how Grant is hamming it up around Lorenzo and the cops to sell the act.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The old lady sitting next to McClane's wife on the plane complains that she "should have taken the bus." Well, actually... And then in With A Vengeance, he has to stop a bomber from exploding a bomb on a subway. It would seem Speed is even more like Die Hard (On A Bus and Subway Train) than first supposed.
  • Idiot Plot: While most of the stupid things done can be waved off as people not knowing how many precautions Stuart has taken and being overly cautious, his scheme wouldn't have been possible if it wasn't for three things that should never have happened.
    • First, the security detail on Esperanza's prisoner transport consisted of one green private. If there had been a second guard, Esperanza would have been subdued before he could have killed that private, and even if they'd just brought along a minor functionary to sign paperwork, the pilots could have been warned about the takeover attempt and prevented it.
    • Second, the prisoner transport was being sent to Dulles, a civilian airport which is difficult to secure even under ideal circumstances, much less during the crowded conditions of the Christmas travel season, rather than Andrews AFB, a nearby military airport.
    • Third, every pilot flying into Dulles forgetting an FAA regulation stating that any airfield, civilian or military, that is capable of accepting an aircraft in distress must do so. Even though the nearest alternate airfield (Reagan National) was stated to have shut down due to the weather, any aircraft with enough fuel to fly in circles for two hours has enough fuel to fly to another airport. Here's what would have happened if this scheme had been attempted in real life: Within half an hour of Dulles Control warning all the airplanes about the runway being shut down (And even if Dulles couldn't use their radio, there were still three other airports in the immediate area whose communications Stuart had not compromised, any of which could easily relay any further messages), every one of those planes would be lining up outside of BWI or Andrews AFB asking for landing clearance, depriving Stuart of any hostages. Then Dulles Control would announce that they are shutting down (Probably blaming the weather to avoid a panic) and asking all civilians and employees not essential to flight control operations to leave. Once they all left, they'd have the government bring in whatever firepower was necessary to regain control of the airport.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Richard Thornberg sharing a flight with Holly Mc Clane is absolutely in violation of the restraining order. Not to mention that she goes on to attack him! Dick's lawyers are going to have some fun once he gets off that plane.
  • Love to Hate: William Sadler has said that he takes it as a compliment whenever someone tells him how much they hated his character Colonel Stuart in this movie, because even he interpreted the Colonel Badass character he was playing as an absolutely evil irredeemable bastard.
  • Memetic Mutation: The tagline/subtitle has been popular for parodic snowclones on the formula " X Something 2: X Harder", such as Desert Bus for Hope 2: Bus Harder.
    • "My name is not important..."
    • Everyone ripping on the poorly researched "Glock 7" scene note 
    • The inexplicable dub of "Mr. Falcon" over "Yipee-kay-yay, motherfucker" in the TV edit.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Colonel Stuart undoubtedly crosses it when he guides a plane full of innocent passengers into crashing into the runway. All because McClane had the audacity to kill the men they had stationed at the annex skywalk.
    • Thornburg tops what he did in the first film by creating a massive panic in the airport that injured many people and likely killed many others, just to give a news story.
  • Narm: Stuart and his men marching out of their hotel rooms in perfect unison, a package ready in every hand and each sporting a Death Glare. It's so Obviously Evil that it ends up being unintentionally hilarious in how deadly serious it was probably meant to be.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
  • So Okay, It's Average: Widely agreed to be an okay sequel and a decent film in its own right, just not in the same league as the first or third Die Hard entries. Still, it's a less divisive film than Live Free or Die Hard, and way, way higher-regarded than A Good Day to Die Hard.
  • Special Effect Failure: During the firefight in the annex when McClane sends a scaffold falling atop one of Stuart's mooks, it's pretty hard to miss that he's been replaced by a rather cheap-looking dummy in some shots. The fact that it looks nothing like the actor just makes it more obvious.
    • The moment where McClane ejects from the exploding plane was never particularly believable; a sharp eye today can see that Willis is simply inserted over the footage of the explosion.
  • Tear Jerker: Col. Stuart crashes a plane full of innocent people just to make it clear that he's in charge. John tries desperately to avert this, but fails, and bitterly weeps Manly Tears for them in his most vulnerable and humane moment in the franchise.
  • What an Idiot!: Thornburg and his colleagues leaking the word of the terrorist takeover of the airport out to the public. Although more justifiable with Thornburg seeing how he cares nothing for the lives he endangers in airing his discovery to the thousands of holiday travelers who were until then unaware of the siege, his colleagues are much too eager to indulge his demands to put this out onto the air and thus a mass panic breaks out just as the police are assembling to pursue the terrorists.
    • The decision for General Esperanza's plane to land at Dulles in the first place proves to be this; Instead of an American airforce base where security would've made escape nearly impossible, they have his transport land at a civilian airport where Colonel Stuart had many more avenues to exploit the demonstrably inadequate measures taken.
    • The government sending Grant's team to eliminate Colonel Stuart. Given the history between Grant and Stuart, it would almost certainly be considered a conflict of interest to send Stuart's former commanding officer after him even if Grant and the team weren't in on the terrorist plot.


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