Die Hard 2 (Die Harder) was pretty disappointing on all fronts, basically a Die Hard rip-off in the vein of the later Die Hard on a boat and Die Hard in a tunnel and Die Hard on a zeppelin copycats that would densely populate the 90s, as opposed to a worthy follow-up to the original. But most dismaying was the severely diminished presence of Mr. Reginald VelJohnson, who undoubtedly stole the show as Sgt. Al Powell in the first film. He was John McClane’s confidant, his best friend, his rock, and his savior. It’s no stretch to say that without Sgt. Powell there’s no way McClane ever gets out of Nakatomi Plaza. So it’s nothing short of a travesty that Reginald VelJ’s role in the sequel was limited to a desk-jockey cameo:
But in his two minutes on-screen VelJohnson shines, giving a Masters class on eating a Twinkie while talking on the phone. And this scene really breaks down what an exciting, tumultuous time the early 90s were. Fax machines! Insurance companies! The ol’ in-laws! Fax numbers! Pissing in pools! It truly is a snapshot of 1990.
WAKE UP AND SMELL THE 90s! It smells like VelJohnson!
(Completely Made-up Fun Fact: the role played by Samuel L. Jackson in Die Hard with a Vengeance was originally written for Reginald VelJohnson to reprise Sgt. Powell. Strange, but not true!)