6. Die Hard 2: Die Harder
Box office gross: $117.5 million
Remember when you could crash an airliner full of holiday passengers, killing everyone aboard, and still call your film a Christmas movie?
In a sequel that seems just a touch less plausible post-9/11, our hero John McClane once again finds himself battling terrorists during the holiday season. This time, however, McClane uses Dulles International Airport as a first-person shooter and elevates the body count significantly to stop rogue special forces agents from freeing a deposed dictator of a nonexistent country and -- you know what, it doesn't matter.There's a bit more dramatic tension with several hundred people hovering above in planes running low on fuel, and there's a far more torrential bullet storm as a result of an army much bigger than the one McLane faced in the first film, and that works out pretty well for a movie that has all of the anachronism but none of the charm of its predecessor. The filmmakers bring back Reginald VelJohnson's Los Angeles cop and William Atherton's pushy television reporter and Bonnie Bedelia as McClane's wife who never seems particularly distressed, but those are about the only ties to the original. John Amos, William Sadler and then-unknown Robert Patrick and John Leguizamo make great bad guys, but this sequel is all blood and no heart. Sadly, it's not the only cookie-cutter second installment on this list.
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