USA, 2013: A Good Day to Die Hard
A Good Day to Die Hard, the fifth in the John McClane series, feels like itís desperately trying to be a light-hearted throwback to the era of 80s action movies. It is certainly a safe enough plan, seeing the huge surge of 80s nostalgia that has been saturating our theaters for the past few years. But director John Moore fails to excite the audience in any meaningful way with this incredibly lackluster entry into the franchise. The film isnít witty enough, fun enough, or even action-y enough to really get the kind of pull that you would expect from an 80s homage. Even the two Expendables movies had a relatively high entertainment value. But here we see Bruce Willis and Jai Courtney flail around trying to build up some kind of father-son chemistry on screen. It fails miserably at being touching or moving in any way. Even the villains all die off in remarkably anti-climactic ways, one of the biggest betrayals to the core of the Die Hard films. In a movie about one of the classic American action heroes, it is stunning how the filmmakers manage to escort us from one bland shootout to the next without any sense of suspense or stakes to speak of. All of the budget seems to have been spent in the big chase scene from the opening act, leaving nothing but the aforementioned bulletfests and a lot of cheesy explosions in the finale. This is a sad chapter in the story of John McClane, and hopefully it will be the last one.
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