Directed By: Richard Donner
Written By: Jeffrey Boam, Shane Black, and Warren Murphy
I couldn’t even begin to think where I would start with this review before starting the movie but holy shit that’s Dean Norris! I am a big fan of Norris from his role on Breaking Bad but was under the impression that was the only thing I had ever seen him in. I never thought about how much he had aged and it turns out he was in the background of a few beloved action movies from the late 80s and early 90s. In addition to this film he played small parts in Total Recall and Terminator 2. This might seem silly but it has certainly brightened a bad day to realize this for the first time. Without even looking I can clearly see in my mind who he played in Total Recall; he played a mutant who fights for the resistance and has some large growth or thing on his face.
This is the only picture I could find from the movie that showed the character he played. He’s that guy to the very left who has a little more hair than the version we have now on Under the Dome and Breaking Bad. Exciting right?
As for this movie I think it is a pretty cool sequel. Not quite the same exact thing as the first film and the heat was turned up quite a bit. This has everything a good sequel to an action movie should have: More action, more profanity, and more nudity. Not only that but this film had the addition of Joe Pesci, and I’m under the impression that any movie is instantly better the minute Pesci steps on set. This wasn’t his best role granted, but still, you can’t go wrong with Joe Pesci. The beauty of this movie was that it didn’t have to really be anything special. It only had to be more of what people already loved and that’s exactly what it was.
Mel Gibson and Danny Glover had terrific chemistry and they only got better a second time around. This movie took everything from the first film a step further and in truth may have taken a step too far. Far too often second films can be so good that they raise the bar too high, so high that a third film can’t hope to achieve the same success. Off the top of my head I’m thinking specifically about Terminator 2, X-Men 2, and The Dark Knight. I didn’t dislike the third film in this franchise but I didn’t like it either. It was all wrong really, everything from the PG-13 rating to the sub par story line.
We do not own the third or fourth film in this franchise and I never intend to. I cannot stress enough how asinine I think it is to take a franchise built on an R rating and soften it up to make it PG-13. I get why they do it because it’s all about money and kids spend money on movies. Nevertheless I think as adults we deserve movies that are made just for us and this franchise wasn’t for the kids, neither was the Die Hard franchise for that matter. I don’t care what anybody says, action heroes and their enemies are just much cooler and more believable when they are letting the fucks fly. Die Hard going to PG-13 was much worse than this was though, at least Riggs didn’t have a catch phrase he couldn’t say anymore because of the new rating. Murtaugh’s “I’m too old for this shit,” was still acceptable to get the rating but I can’t help but think Die Hard lost something when Willis couldn’t say his tagline anymore because it ended with motherfucker. Not only that but I can’t fathom how John McClane goes from saying fuck every other word to a dialogue absent of the word altogether.
This was a cool follow up to a really cool movie and if you liked the first one there is little doubt you will be satisfied with this one as well. I like that the bad guys were from South Africa because it is so easy to hate Afrikaners whether they are breaking the law under the shield of diplomatic immunity or simply being racist assholes. I don’t know if the diplomatic immunity thing is accurate but feel like anybody that would take something from this movie as fact and accurate should probably stand up and bang his head against the wall. Certainly it may exist in some small form but I seriously doubt diplomats from foreign nations are simply allowed carte blanche while they are here. Nevertheless I do not know and won’t lower myself to researching the accuracy of something from an 80s action sequel. Regardless, this is an awesome movie that is a lot of fun. It’s a must see for action fans and it’s without doubt worth your time.
NEXT MOVIE: The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)