Saturday, March 02, 2013

A Good Day to Die Hard

The fifth film in the Bruce Willis series Die Hard has not been well received by the critics whom I read, and one of them is also one of my favourite critics, Anthony Lane.

He describes a passage set in Chernobyl, and laments its wasted scenic possibilities. Martin Cruz Smith wrote a book (published in 2004) in the same setting, and "relished the outlandish details of life in the poisoned zone," while A Good Day to Die Hard concentrates on finding papers somewhere in the abandoned nuclear complex, in a naïvely implausible manner:
Any lingering radiation is dispelled with a few squirts of cleansing spray, and Irina tests the all-clear by removing her protective mask and giving a cautious sniff, as if the rich aroma of cesium 137 were akin to that of lamb stew.

From "Ways to Win: 'A Good Day to Die Hard' and 'NO'", by Anthony Lane, in the February 25, 2013 issue of the New Yorker.

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