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Opening: A Good Day to Die Hard

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In this, the fifth installment of the Die Hard franchise, John McLane (Bruce Willis) jets off to Russia to reunite with his long lost son Jack (Jai Courtney) and winds up in the middle of a secret CIA operation. Sounds like a good enough premise for an action film. Too bad the film then spins its wheels as John and Jack shoot their way out of one preposterous jam after another before winding up at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant for a final showdown with the bad guy (and girl). Despite his age (the source of several jokes in the film), Willis has little trouble returning to the role that he played so well in four previous outings. But that’s about all this film has going for it. McLane often repeats jokes (“I’m on vacation!” he says on more than one occasion after some death-defying escape). The father-son tension quickly grows tiresome and the aforementioned finale simply requires too much of a suspension of disbelief.
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