A Good Day To Die Hard (2013)

A Good Day To Die HardOn a visit to Russia to track down his wayward son, John McClane (Bruce Willis) becomes embroiled in a plot involving terrorists, weapons of mass destruction AND nukes. Accidentally foiling a C.I.A plot being headed by Jack McClane (Jai Courtney), the two are forced to work together in order to save whistle-blower Yuri Komarov (Sebastian Koch) from corrupt official Viktor Chagarin (Sergei Kolesnikov). When both parties are double-crossed by Komarov’s daughter, however, the McClanes find themselves fighting to keep weapons-grade uranium out of enemy hands.

With Indiana Jones and Rick O’Connell already having passed the proverbial torch on to the next generation, it was only a matter of time before old age and target demographics forced John McClane to follow suit. As if this wasn’t ominous enough in the eyes of the average cinemagoer, particularly following the lackluster fourth instalment, a controversial 12A edit, an overly cautious embargo and an obviously unenthustiastic Bruce Willis hardly bade well for A Good Day To Die Hard.

Even as someone who rather enjoyed Die Hard 4.0 (even the bit where everyman McClane launches a police car at a fighter jet), I found the latest instalment to be almost completely irredeemable. While a dead-eyed, empty-smiled Bruce Willis sleepwalks his way through the same line over and over again (variations on “I’m just here on vacation”), driving a truck over helpless civilians and shouting at Russians for daring to speak their own language in Moscow, the supporting cast try to get on with a ludicrous plot that not even the writer seems to fully understand.

Considering John McClane was once upon a time characterised by his ordinariness, he has since been transformed beyond recognition into the sort of catchphrase-quipping one-man-army that Willis has been supposedly mocking in Sylvester Stallone’s The Expendables movies. The only character beats in the whole film are so signposted and out of place that you wish they simply wouldn’t bother. By this point poor Jai Courtney doesn’t really have much left to inherit, which is probably why the film’s best scenes take place when he is mocking the old man for being completely — and uncharacteristically — useless.

If the better moments occur in the film’s opening act, the weakest are saved until its last. If you winced at The Chernobyl Diaries‘ depiction of the fallout left from the 1986 disaster, I’d give A Good Day To Die Hard a pretty wide berth. Not only do the McClanes make the 600-mile trip from Moscow with injuries, no money and a stolen car, but they arrive to find tons of nuclear waste being neutralised by spray. It really is one of the most preposterous finales in years, somehow managing to trump The Dark Knight Rises solely by the amount of times allegedly nuclear material is shot at, dropped or blown up to no apparent ill effect.

While fans will be disappointed by a bad Die Hard movie, everyone else will undoubtedly be bored to tears by what is simply a terrible film. Paper-thin characters, laughable dialogue and ludicrous plotting detract from the admittedly well-shot set pieces, while — unforgivably — the best line from the film’s trailer is replaced with something forgettable enough to blend in seamlessly with the rest of the film.

1.5-Stars

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About popcornaddiction
I am a psychology graduate, a News Writer for HeyUGuys/BestforFilm and, most importantly, a hopeless popcorn addict.

3 Responses to A Good Day To Die Hard (2013)

  1. CMrok93 says:

    There is usually at least one film released each month that falls into the swampy levels that this film descends into, but this is a major Hollywood release, how did Bruce Willis sign on to this script? Good review.

  2. Victor De Leon says:

    Appears that there s no hope for this movie. I am a big fan of the series and never have I been so underwhelmed by a Die Hard movie like with this entry. Good write up!

  3. Pingback: February 2013 – Snitches end up in ditches! | popcornaddict

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