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Review

‘Die Hard’ falls short of hype

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February 21, 2013

Bruce Willis returns for the newest “Die Hard” installment, but unfortunately his return is all there really is to get hyped up for about this movie.

New York police officer John McLane (Willis) has been many places. From Nakatomi Plaza, to Washington Dulles International Airport, to New York again and back to Washington D.C, he has always brought pure bravery and action as his luggage. But that alone will not be enough as he is sent to Russia to help out his estranged son Jack (Jai Courtney) in saving a Russian scientist from a conspiracy that means to use the doctor’s findings for evil deeds. Now not only will John need to stop these Russian terrorists, but he will also need to fix his relationship with his son and save the day if he ever wants to see another day to die hard.

I admit to having never seen any of the other “Die Hard” movies before this installment. Regular readers will shrug to this; UW-River Falls movie buffs will instantly start booing me for this sin against movie kind. But, rest assured, I had read about what makes a “Die Hard” movie good: smart villains, good locations, great action, and an all-around clever and entertaining plot. Despite what I sound like I’m leading to, “A Good Day to Die Hard” has very little in all of these departments.

The main problem I had with this movie can be summed up in four words: run of the mill. So much of this movie feels unoriginal and treaded before. It’s your standard father and son team up against some bad guys who want to steal plans that involve something nuclear powered. It’s this kind of plain, uninspired writing that made me barely care about the plot throughout the movie and got stuck through the whole way.

The movie fails in other areas that make a “Die Hard” movie great as well. Where I was expecting smart villains, I got your average bad guys whose only ends are money and more money. Instead of good locations, I got unmemorable and underutilized areas of Russia. And, instead of a clever and entertaining plot, well, you get the picture.

But that’s not to say that the movie is unentertaining. The action parts of the movie are okay, even though I would’ve expected more than just guns-blazing around the place and big explosions; if these are your things, then you might be satiated. And McLane injects an easy dosage of wit, cursing, and quips that becomes one of the saving graces of the movie, if only because it got me laughing. But when the bullet shells have stopped rolling on the floor and the explosions have subsided, you’re just left with the blasted residue and hole ridden mass that is this film.

By the end, I was honestly disappointed. If put into the hands of another director or even writer, this movie could have been smart, clever and something entertaining in more ways than one. What I got though was just another action film, and I just don’t think that’s something more that we as the audience deserve. The movie offers a lot explosive action barks, but no real bites. For the future of McLane, I can only hope that the next “Yippie-Ki-Yay” will be much more deserving and satisfying than what is in theaters now.

Ryan Funes is a lover of all things movie, TV, video games and stories and wants to become a television writer someday. In his spare time he enjoys hanging with friends, tapping into his imagination, and watching cartoons of all kinds.