This worthy and gleefully over-the-top sequel to the tremendous 1988 original often feels like a semi-serious parody of the original. On the one hand, the action is heavy-handed and the violence is grisly (more akin to a “Friday the 13th” slasher film than an action movie, really), which lends the movie a harder edge than one may expect from a Hollywood blockbuster. On the other hand, everything is over-sized, including Bruce Willis’s John McLane, who has moved from Everyman to a workaday James Bond here, lending the movie a comical edge that softens the sometimes shocking violence. There’s an overabundance of characters throughout the movie (not to mention a supporting cast overstuffed with middle-aged male character actors who spend their time yelling their dialogue at each other), but the whole movie moves quickly like a roller-coaster, and it’s a blast to sit through from beginning to end.
Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)