In 1988, the world was shocked by a new kind of hero–one that rivaled the current blockbuster stars of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Burt Reynolds, Timothy Dalton, and Sylvester Stallone.
Until this point in time, most action heroes had been overly buff and always won against the antagonist with minimal scratches and injuries.
But in 1988, the action hero was revolutionized.
Die Hard, starring Bruce Willis as John McClane, began a franchise, with the movie itself getting a 94% positive review from Rotten Tomatoes.
The sequels that followed, however, led to disappointment, especially the most recent.
A Good Day to Die Hard, released this year, had been introduced last year by an exciting but misleading trailer.
The opening seemed intriguing enough; the plot was introduced quite nicely between introducing the antagonists and McClane’s son Jack.
However, things began to snowball downhill from there, like German terrorists gaining control of a skyscraper.
The dialogue is boring, the special effects are flawed and the stunts are physics-defying.
The dialogue, which was expected to be funny and witty like the original movie, when the kidnappers referencing cowboys like John Wayne. However, this movie’s dialogue is anything but, and is as straight and flat as Alan Rickman’s monotone voice.
McClane even lacks the conviction in his catchphrase “Yippee-ki-yay.”
The special effects include off-color CGI, crates of explosives, a few tons of bullets and broken glass, and overused slow motion. The slow motion, the most annoying of the special effects, is used for approximately a minute and a half straight during the last action-packed scene while McClane and his estranged son are free-falling through a building and somehow manage to not be touched by the multiple explosions, bullets, and glass shards.
John McClane jumps out of at least five different windows, falls down a 180 degree shoot that ought to be filled with nails and plywood and shards of glass that could cause substantial injuries for almost thirty seconds without any injuries — even scratches — whatsoever. During a 15 minute car chase, McClane also plunges a car off a freeway overpass, rams two different cars that he drives into an armored truck, and actually easily climbs out of a car that got tossed around and crashed without the airbags going off. There are even more stunts including a chopper, explosions, and a drop through a building into a pool that are equally as unreasonable.
The movie was actually rated R for violence and language, but the violence in the movie is second-rate. Almost every character, except McClane’s daughter and civilians in Russia, shoots a gun. A lot of people died in the movie, but only a handful died on screen.
Overall, this film was hit hard in the theaters. Rotten Tomatoes, usually favorable towards action films, gave the movie a staggering 16% positive review, and many critics called it a failure of the franchise. Any action fan, Die Hard fan, or any movie watcher can agree that this series has finally died hard.