In this cynical, formulaic sequel to DIE HARD, all the style, wit and intelligence of the original has been jettisoned in favor of a bigger, louder, by-the-numbers approach. DIE HARD 2 even has the nerve to thematize its lack of inspiration via Bruce Willis's incessant wisecracks about the

similarity of his situation here to that of the previous film.

DIE HARD 2 takes place on Christmas Eve at Dulles International Airport, outside Washington, DC. In addition to the usual holiday crowds, the airport is also expecting the arrival of a "guest" from another country, a South American dictator named Esperanza (Franco Nero) who has been accused of

drug smuggling and is being brought to America for trial. Reporters are everywhere, but the security seems light for such a busy evening, making things easier for the terrorists who are planning to virtually shut down the airport, intercept the dictator's incoming flight, and free him. They

haven't reckoned on John McClane (Bruce Willis) who, in the year since he saved his estranged wife (Bonnie Bedelia) and other hostages from the charismatic bad guys in DIE HARD, has reunited with his family and moved to L.A., where he's a successful cop. As it happens, McClane is now at Dulles,

waiting for Holly's incoming flight.

Despite a few impressive action sequences and special effects, this is a disappointing sequel that adds nothing to the original and augurs badly for the inevitable DIE HARD 3.