The student-run news site of Le Moyne College.

The Dolphin

The student-run news site of Le Moyne College.

The Dolphin

The student-run news site of Le Moyne College.

The Dolphin

Navigating College Stress: Effective Strategies and Le Moyne Resources for Student Well-being
Mai Aljanabi, Staff Writer • September 27, 2023

College life presents unique challenges and stressors for students, impacting their mental well-being and overall success. This article delves...

via The Huntington
Persistence Into Brilliance: Le Moyne Graduate and Actor Makes Major Mark
Kamilla Shahzad, Staff Writer • September 26, 2023

In the world of theater, Le Moyne College graduate John Douglas Thompson is known to possess an exceptional ability to captivate audiences, effortlessly...

Le Moyne Alum and MLB Star Josiah Gray Nominated for Roberto Clemente Award
Michael Scalise, Staff Writer • September 25, 2023

Here at Le Moyne, the phrase “Greatness meets Goodness” is at the very foundation by which the school stands, and it is safe to say that...

Career Advising & Development at Le Moyne
Career Advising & Development at Le Moyne
Carly Nicolai, Editor in Chief • September 18, 2023

“What do you want to do with your degree?” It’s a question many college students have heard before, whether it comes from friends and...

Growing Sunshine-Colored Flowers: Remembering Father Bosch
Growing Sunshine-Colored Flowers: Remembering Father Bosch
Stephanie R. Duscher, Staff Writer • September 16, 2023

Many Le Moyne students have likely walked by the lovely gardens outside the Jesuit Residence–a beautiful touch of color amidst the many cloudy...

“A Good Day to Die Hard” takes the series to new low

There’s a reason “Die Hard” stands above most action franchises. Actually, there are several reasons. Being a member of the action genre, the movies obviously boast stellar action sequences, but “Die Hard” also has the advantage of gripping stories, witty banter, memorable villains and perhaps one of the greatest heroes in all of cinema: everyman John McClane, played by Bruce Willis.

McClane is forced over and over again to save the day from a group of terrorists/thieves/raving lunatics, whether he likes it or not. The original “Die Hard” is, of course, a classic, the first sequel is a bit of a misstep (in this writer’s opinion), “Die Hard with a Vengeance” is a nice return to form and “Live Free or Die Hard” is unmemorable, but fun while it lasts. While it may seem like faint praise, “Die Hard” never fell below mediocre territory, a rarity for a 25-year-old action franchise.

Sadly, all good things must come to an end. With the arrival of “A Good Day to Die Hard,” it’s apparent that those involved have lost touch of what makes the series tick. Any trace of a good performance, story or line of dialogue, has been washed away, leaving us with 90 minutes of pointless gunfights, lengthy car chases and one-dimensional characters.

As the film opens, McClane, brooding away at a shooting range, decides to check up on his son, Jack, in Russia. Faster than you can say “Yippee-ki-yay, Mother Russia” (Don’t yell at me, it’s the movie’s own tagline), McClane is caught up in a whirlwind chase involving a bunch of Russian baddies and Jack, working for the CIA.

It’s tough to delve much deeper into the plot, but not because doing so will spoil the film. No, it’s because the film itself doesn’t bother to explain the story until about two-thirds in. Even then, that brief blip of exposition lasts about 30 seconds, as if the filmmakers waited until the last second to add a half-assed excuse for the barrage of noise that directly precedes and follows said moment.

The few attempts at character development consist of familiar “old generation vs. new generation” arguments between Jack and John. Theirs is a predictable relationship, one consisting of non-stop bickering before bonding at the last minute to take down the villains. It doesn’t help that Jai Courtney, as Jack, delivers his lines with exactly zero confidence and skill.

Perhaps most distressing of all is McClane himself, or what’s passed off as McClane. Each film in the series took the character to a new level, introducing an element (alcoholism, divorce, etc.) that would affect his motivations and actions throughout the duration of the film. Here, “McClane” is merely an aging Bruce Willis, waiting for his latest paycheck and clearly embarrassed by the many cliched lines he’s forced to utter. Things are not well when even the infamous catchphrase is delivered with little energy.

There’s a moment towards the end of the film meant to act as a visual homage to the original “Die Hard,” but it serves more as the exemplar of what’s wrong with this installment. Namely, the filmmakers (it’s hard to say if most of the blame should be placed on the director, the screenwriter or the editor) have assumed the success of “Die Hard” lies squarely on the rampant action and bombastic visuals, even though those elements should act as frosting on top of a delicious cupcake of wit, suspense and strong characterization. Aside from the occasional impressive stunt, “A Good Day to Die Hard” is lacking in each and every department.


1 Dolphin out of 5

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