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Movie Review: A Good Day to Die Hard

By Andrew Sparling
On February 26, 2013

The wild adventures of John McClane (Bruce Willis), the tough smart-mouthed cop always in the wrong place at the wrong time, continue in A Good Day to Die Hard

It's the fifth film of a legendary action film series that has tragically seen better days. The simple problem was that this did not feel like a Die Hard film.

It starts out with a similar premise as the first film: John McClane is forced to go to Russia and from there works to both stop the villains and reaffirm the bond between him and his son (Jai Courtney). 

However, the similarities to the original fall apart from there as the film mutates into the shoot-everything standard that makes every action film generic and lazy. How McClane is capable of handling high-military tactical weapons despite only having the expertise of a policeman is a glaring issue.

McClane does not act like McClane. He complains frequently about how he's supposed to be on vacation, he jumps off the sides of buildings with ease and gets into bone-breaking car wrecks with only minor scratches. The camera work makes this issue obvious. A large sum of the film, especially the action sequences, feature close-up shots of McClane which only illustrate the fact he has aged and cannot perform the extreme stunts that made the original so amazing. 

By changing McClane's status of survivor to super-human shooter, he is no different than any of the dozen tough-guy types made for action films besides a few clever lines reminiscent of McClane's infamous attitude.  

McClane's son demonstrates himself as
the most inefficient "expert" in the film despite being the one supposeably capable of handling bad guys. 

Not that the heroes need to worry about being overwhelmed: the villains are a group of muscle-bound shooters. The supposed brains of the villains, despite having some unique moments, is sadly underdeveloped and downplayed to allow for more shooting. 

As a whole, the film seems like it's trying to regain the status of the first Die Hard but overlooks nearly everything that made the original work. 

There was no tension, no actual character development and the conflict between McClane and his son was resolved much too easily. 

Die Hard is a film that stunned, amazed and always kept people on the edge of their seats. This film feels more like a failed theme park ride version of the first film. 

It's a film that took a truly die-hard concept and molded it into a lazy action film that needs to sadly be put to rest.

2/5 stars


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