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‘Die Hard 5’: The end of the action movie?

Kai Ryssdal Feb 14, 2013
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There might be a lot of talk right now about all those Oscar-nominated films — but what about the less-intensive viewing experiences? There’s a presumptive new blockbuster out this week: ‘A Good Day to Die Hard.’ Chances are you already know all about the lead character — and maybe even the plot.

Wesley Morris is a film critic with Grantland. He says that behind the decision to make one more ‘Die Hard‘ movie is, of course, money.

“I think it involves a lot of finance people sitting around saying, ‘Dude, I think there’s still some water left in this sponge,'” Morris points out.

But there’s more to the story here. The most famous action heroes — the Schwarzeneggers and Stallones of the world — are still up to their old tricks. But the movie industry has changed since they first started blowing up buildings and crashing cars. 

“In the original ‘Die Hard’ movies was a really fresh approach that basically changed for a long time the kind of action movies we got,” says Morris. “I think we have sort of grown past this idea of an action hero in some ways. And I think that the movies aren’t helping us out by basically regurgitating stuff it has always done without trying to find a new way to do it.”

He cites blockbuster director Michael Bay and his ‘Transformers’ franchise as the main contenders filling the void.

“Michael Bay is a sort of evil genius,” Morris adds. “He has figured out a way to do this without having to deal with the overhead of egos like Stallone’s or Schwarzenegger’s. And I don’t see [the classic action hero] coming back around without a complete rethinking of how an action movie is supposed to work.”

…Especially at $13.75 per viewing.

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