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Still “A Good Day to Die Hard”

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Photo courtesy of pastemagazine.com.
“A Good Day to Die Hard” is the fifth installment of the “Die Hard” series. It was released on Feb. 14, 2013. Photo courtesy of pastemagazine.com.

The greatness of “Die Hard” lies in its randomness. John McClane really isn’t supposed to be here today; it’s his bad luck that he’s in the building during a massive heist.

What was new and fun about “Die Hard” is it has an unlikely hero trying to escape a very enclosed space.

“Die Hard 2 was bigger and more futile than the first film, but it was still the same story but bigger. “Die Hard” on a plane.

The third movie, “Die Hard with a Vengeance,” was not as good as its predecessors, but the film still had the “Die Hard” essence that audiences have grown to like.

It was with the release of “Live Free or Die Hard” in 2007, that the franchise rebooted itself into the next dimension.

Bruce Willis, comfortable in his most recognizable role, just has a cheerful good time going insanely over the top, with every imaginable action-movie cliché overblown to the silliest degree.  It’s tough to beat that moment when McClane crashes a cop car into a helicopter.

The franchise’s newest release, “A Good Day To Die Hard,” finds an older but still unruly McClane heading off to Russia to find his son, Jack McClane, played by Jai Courtney.

McClane quickly finds himself on the wrong side of some seriously well-armed villains.

In the movie, the father-son team must overcome their differences in order to take down theses bad guys.

“A Good Day to Die Hard” only intensifies the carnage and over-the-top action sequences of its predecessor, “Live Free or Die Hard,” given that the last installment featured the previously mentioned unlikely car vs. helicopter collision.

That scene doesn’t even compare to a car chase that unfolds during the first act of the new film, which showed massive amounts of on-screen vehicular destruction.

The new film sticks with what works, like having McClane repeatedly complain about all of the action spoiling his vacation while dropping catchy one-liners every time he kills a bad guy.

For the hero-villain dynamic, “A Good Day To Die Hard” falls short of the standard set by previous films in the franchise.

Neither head mercenary, Alik, played by Radivoje Bukvic, or any of the other top-level villains in the film offer a memorable opponent for McClane and his son, which is disappointing given the list of previous performances the franchise has provided thus far.

Alan Rickman’s, Hans Gruber, in “Die Hard,” and Jeremy Irons’, Simon, in “Die Hard With A Vengeance” are tough acts to follow, but the villains of “A Good Day To Die Hard” seem to be the least memorable of all the “Die Hard” villains, despite their presence in some of the most explosive, eye-catching action sequences of the franchise.

At times, the movie seems uncertain of whether its supposed to be a story about the things a father will do for his son, or a super-charged action film.

Still, “A Good Day To Die Hard” does a nice job of offering most fans of the series exactly what they’ll want in a new “Die Hard” film. Packed full of callbacks to previous films and jokes that offer a wink to the die-hard, “Die Hard” fans.

It’s hard not to like Willis’ iconic hero. “A Good Day To Die Hard” doesn’t do anything to change that, offering a fun, fast-moving film that makes for an entertaining big-screen adventure.

I give this film an easy 8/10.