Valdosta Daily Times


February 23, 2013

New ‘Die Hard’ proves series is dead

VALDOSTA — “A Good Day to Die Hard” (Action: 1 hour, 37 minutes)

Starring: Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney and Sebastian Koch

Director: John Moore

Rated: R (Violence and profanity)

Movie Review: This is the fifth film in this series. It follows the antics of cop John McClane (Willis) once more. This time, he is in Russia to help his estranged son, Jack (Courtney), a CIA operative, prevent a nuclear-weapons heist. To do this, the McClanes must get Komarov (Koch), a wealthy Russian dissident, out of Russia.

“Die Hard” is dead. This story has little substance. The action is plentiful, but plot is as useless as an old jalopy that coughs. Many automobiles are destroyed. Bullets fly like crazy, but the main characters appear bulletproof. The stunts are uselessly unbelievable. Even Willis’ dry wit cannot make this film entertaining.

This photoplay presents a good time to end this series. Car crashes and gun fights do not constitute a movie — at least not a good one.   

Grade: C- (Dead on arrival.)

“Safe Haven” (Romance/Drama: 1 hour, 55 minutes)

Starring: Julianne Hough, Josh Duhamel, and David Lyons

Director: Lasse Hallström

Rated: PG-13 (Violence and strong language)

Movie Review: Director Hallström has directed better films: “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” (1993) and “Chocolat” (2000). “Safe Haven is not a safe bet.

Katie (Hough), a young woman with a cryptic past, moves to Southport, N.C. There, she meets Alex (Duhamel), a widower with whom she falls in love. Soon, her secretive past catches up to her.

This is a movie based on a Nicholas Sparks novel. Like most of the screen adaptations of his books, this one is formulaic.

Plot builds character. It is profoundly lacking here because the characters never see full development. Even more, their actions are questionable. Again, this exists because this plot is weak.  

It is a contrived plot. If one has evidence that a love interest is a possible murderer, do you bring that person back to your house to spend time with your kids? One would think the answer is an easy “no.” In this mess of a movie, the lead does just this. This is possible but not plausible.

Think of this film as a Tyler Perry-esque plot with tones of a teleplay on the Lifetime channel. The formula is the same. A woman runs away from a sadistic man to meet an angelic man. They fall in love. After they get to know each other, they break up quickly and dramatically. Then, they reunite and live happily ever after. 

This is a tired play that has outlived its usefulness. Children could create better romantic formula than this. 

Grade: C- (A poor refuge.)

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