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MOVIE REVIEW: 'A Good Day to Die Hard'

An inconsistent series takes a turn for the worse.

As a Die Hard fan, I’ll be the first to admit the whatever-ilogy has been inconsistent.

The second, Die Hard 2: Die Harder was so bad, it’s a wonder anymore were even made.

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Maybe it was just a case of absence makes the heart grow fonder—although I think it was more a matter of my eyes needing a break from all the CGI-fakery going around these days—but the fourth installment, 2007’s Live Free or Die Hard, was such a treat.

While the John McLane-takes-on-a-U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II did strain my fairly easy-to-lift suspension on reality, it had the delightful repartee and solid chemestry between Bruce Willis’ McLane and Justin Long’s Matt Ferrell.

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Sadly, McLane and Ferrell seemed more like father and son than the actual father and son duo in A Good Day to Die Hard, which is based in a very not-so-post Soviet Russia. I haven’t been to Russia since 1997, so maybe the portrayal was accurate. Or maybe in Hollywoodland, Russians are always evil, whether espousing communism or selling nuclear-grade uranium.

It was definitely a Die Hard paint-by-the-numbers effort:

  • Evil dudes with seemingly political motives really after the money? Check. 
  • Strained relations with a family member? Check. 
  • McLane on vacation and mentioning that. A LOT? Check. 
  • McLane’s body enduring all sorts of brutal attacks, assaults, falling from astounding heights? Check. 

At least the rating was back to an R, which lets McLane have his trademark albeit out-out-of-context catchphrase. That was about my only regret from A Good Day. If you re-watch the first, you’ll see everyone had a potty mouth.

Like Die Hard 2, there was nothing new or fresh about this latest film. Showing every bit of his 57 years, Willis’ McClane looks like the retired cops in an Irish bar. Maybe he should join them?

Alas, according to Wikipedia, Willis says he's got one more installment in him. Let's hope it goes out like the first and fourth. The franchise itself may die hard, but when it does, it deserves to go out better than this.

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