Movie Spoiler - Die Hard 2
Bruce Willis spends his acting career perfecting the 'ex' character. He portrayed an ex-special forces agent (The Fifth Element), an ex-criminal (Hudson Hawk), an ex-secret service agent (The Last Boy Scout), and an ex-cop in the Die Hard Trilogy. Before you get too upset, we understand that Lt. John McClane was technically still on the New York Police force, but please note that Die Hard 1 took place in Los Angeles, Die Hard 3 was staged in Washington DC, neither city being under the jurisdiction of the New York police force. Die Hard 2 indeed unraveled on and under the streets of New York City, but McClane was under suspension at the time anyway. If he wasn't an ex-cop, he was well on his way to applying for part-time work in the Wal Mart loss prevention department.
In an unexpected plot twist, the film opens with McClane drinking himself into an alcoholic stupor while on suspension from the police force. Evidently he frittered away fame and fortune gained from saving the Nakatomi Tower in Die Hard 1. Shouldn't he be consorting with Oprah? Why isn't he hosting Inside Edition?
Allow us to introduce you to McClane's current nemesis; some German guy. The dude is extremely broken up over his brother's death in Die Hard 1. Being adept at multitasking, he organizes a labyrinthine plot to avenge his bro and steal a bunch of gold at the same time. His risky scheme includes strategically scattering bombs throughout the city as diversions. He puts schoolkids in jeopardy. He leaves explosives in a public park. He bombs a subway. He commandeers city property to haul out the gold. The dude is just plain mean. Most people would file a civil lawsuit and go on the radio talk show circuit to avenge the death of a family member. Not this guy.
We see that McClane is drawn against his will into this crime world without rules. Unlike Die Hards 1 and 3, our intrepid ex-cop has no choice but to save the city. He actually has the full support of his commanding officer. Inspector Walter Cobb is played by Larry Bryggman, who perhaps turns in the best portrayal of a confused over-matched police officer since Barney Fife.
McClane makes a friend, played by some other actor who actually has a long and accomplished career (save for Snakes on a Plane) outside of this tragedy. Given that everyone makes a bad career decision now and again, we will avoid mentioning his name here. Anyway, these two ebony and ivory New Yorkers eventually find common ground. One guy plays the race card but is trumped when the other guy plays the save-the-city card. After a little playful banter, they bond into a two-headed crime fighting superhero. They trade relationship advice in the midst of near death experiences. They hug after killing all the bad guys. They end up as lifelong buddies. We fully expect them to be sharing an apartment in Die Hard 4.
There are some women in the movie. One makes fun of McClane's body odor. Another hands the telephone to Inspector Cobb whenever the bad guy calls. The third one is downright mean and dies the kind of horrible death you'd expect a gold-robbing German terrorist who is the girlfriend of the upset dead guys brother to suffer. All three parts could have been played by the same actor; we're not really sure.
Movie Spoilers - Die Hard 2
We learn that one solitary suspended cop and his reluctant friend can save the City of New York, but only after participating in widespread death and destruction from Harlem to Wall Street.
We learn that German terrorists get really upset when their terrorist brother is killed in an aborted attempt to steal millions of dollars in German Bearer Bonds from the Nakatomi Tower (see Die Hard 1).
We learn that Bruce Willis gets huge mileage from his wise-cracking sneer and dry humor.