Die Hard 2

A generalissimo of the drug wars is extradited from south of the border. Cadres of loyalists spring a coup at Dulles Airport. John McClane is there, waiting for his wife.

The genius of the film is to accept these circumstances as a matter of style. Amid the boot-camp dramatics and hysteria, there is a carefully-hidden surprise sprung just before the end. This has the effect of revealing a state of mind as the real subject.

Madama Butterfly at the Met with Catherine Malfitano exhibited an artistic calculation akin to this, which goes back to Auden and Kallman writing The Rake’s Progress. At each moment, they imagined the stultified gesture a singer would make and wrote words that would express it significantly.

At the Met, when Lt. Pinkerton strode his three steps and turned to sing, there was a hedge waiting to explain his arbitrary change of direction.



An irresistible satire that creates the overwhelming impression is of an adjunct to racing’s marketing strategy gone temerariously experimental on cinema’s aspect ratio. This particular Frankenstein’s monster has Burt Reynolds as Dr. Gillespie and Sylvester Stallone as Kildare.

The computer graphics once again explore the fine line between inanity and idiocy. The general level of the plot (devised by two guys and handed to Stallone for execution) is in accord with the trucker tune, “Giddy Up Go”. One might be wrong about this, of course, there’s probably an angle one missed somewhere, a wrong turn. If any doubt exists, there is always Lee H. Katzin’s Le Mans, a masterpiece about racing.