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February 14, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Several critics are looking back wistfully at the four previous Die Hard movies and have no yippee ki-yays for this one. In the New York Times, A.O. Scott writes that “everything that made the first Die Hard memorable — the nuances of character, the political subtext, the cowboy wit — has been dumbed down or scrubbed away entirely.” Joe Neumaier in the New York Daily News remembers the first Die Hard (1988) as “one of the best action adventures ever made … inexhaustibly perfect.” He then adds: “Not so with this fourth sequel.” Michael Phillips in the Chicago Tribune argues that there’s no point to comparing the earlier installments with this one. “It’s a lousy action movie on its own terms,” he writes, adding, “It’s hard to keep a late-20th century franchise going, to be sure, but when you think of how good the recent James Bond films Casino Royale and Skyfall were, the fifth Die Hard looks and feels cynically lazy.” Mick LaSalle in the San Francisco Chronicle observes that Willis had a winning streak with four strong Die Hard movies in a row. “That almost never happens, even in the James Bond series,” he notes. “But the streak ends with A Good Day to Die Hard” with “a weak screenplay, lousy action sequences, and flat wisecracks.” And Richard Roeper in the Chicago Sun-Times comments that the new movie strips Willis’s John McClane character of any three-dimensional aspect. “We feel as if we’re watching Bruce Willis in a Bruce Willis movie in which Bruce Willis can survive anything while taking out the villains, video-game style.” The film received not a single positive review from a major critic.