It's over folks. This is the death of the Die Hard franchise. Please.
Die Hard has been a guilty pleasure for nearly 20 years, but there's no pleasure in this latest offering.
Loud, unbearably stupid, cartoonishly unbelievable, this movie has the emotional impact of an episode of Thunderbirds, but without the clever plot.
In a nutshell (which is big enough for this plot, with room to spare) Bruce Willis as John McClean tracks down his errant son to Moscow in the usual Hollywood bid to 'reconnect'. There he finds him working as a CIA operative trying to smuggle a vague dissident out of the country. Bruce joins in - as you do. They would have got away, too, if it wasn't for that pesky dissident getting out of the safety of the car and virtually thumbing his nose at the bad guys to make them chase him. There follows a car chase that's so long and stupid that I considered going to get an ice cream. I could have had a three course meal and they'd still have been there, demolition derbying through rush hour. During this chase, a transit van roars through dense traffic jams like a knife through butter, while the armoured car chasing it is forced to bulldoze its way through walls and over cars to keep up, and an RPG rocket is launched at Bruce with the velocity of someone throwing a tennis ball for a dog, giving him plenty of time to steer around it.
Then after many more bullets are dodged - even really fast ones from an Apache helicopter - the pair are captured by a bad guy and about to be executed. Having just slaughtered about two hundred people in half an hour of mindless violence, in this scene the bad guy suddenly slows down and takes time to eat a carrot and emote about a career he might have had in tap dancing, just long enough so that Bruce and Bruce Jr can break free and overwhelm half a dozen heavily armed men with only their distracting giggling and a small knife.
As usual in Die Hard, Bruce remains remains virtually unmarked and limp-free throughout, although his regulation white singlet does get grubbier every time he's blown up/shot at/beaten/thrown off a building/falls through a window. So that, at least, is realistic.
Everything else is not.
Stupid action, stupid dialogue, stupid baddies, stupid plot twists and stupid science. Did you know that radiation that's been 'pooling in here (Chernobyl) for years' can be easily eradicated by a quick squirt of weapons grade Domestos and an iPad? Nor me. Lucky for Bruce, though, as he rushes into the defunct nuclear plant with only his stubble for protection.
Oh, and did I tell you? All this happens in one day - from Bruce's arrival in Moscow, through the mayhem and explosions and the nuclear waste and the drive to Chernobyl, which is apparently in a suburb of Moscow. Oh, and that the drive is made in a car they steal that just happens to have a small arsenal in the boot? Lucky again.
None of it matters, because - surprise surprise - Bruce Jr forgives Bruce for years of neglect and calls him Dad for the first time, and they fly home as heroes in a sunset glow. The fact that they leave Moscow smoking behind them, littered with corpses of innocent bystanders and disappointed film-fans is neither here nor there.
There's a running 'joke' where Bruce keeps yelling 'I'm on vacation!' One can only hope it's a long one.
A Good Day to Die Hard
Action / Crime / Thriller
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Iconoclastic, take-no-prisoners cop John McClane, for the first time, finds himself on foreign soil after traveling to Moscow to help his wayward son Jack - unaware that Jack is really a highly-trained CIA operative out to stop a nuclear weapons heist. With the Russian underworld in pursuit, and battling a countdown to war, the two McClanes discover that their opposing methods make them unstoppable heroes.—Guy from Estonia
Uploaded by: OTTO
May 23, 2013 at 02:26 PM
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A Good Day to Cry Hard
It's over folks. This is the death of the Die Hard franchise. Please.
Love these father and son outings
Bruce Willis makes his fifth appearance as NYPD cop John McClane and in A Good Day To Die Hard and in his previous films makes Dirty Harry Callahan look like a card carrying member of the ACLU. For the first time McClane is on foreign soil, in Moscow to be precise though the film was shot primarily in Budapest standing in for Moscow. He's there to help his son Jai Courtney free a Russian political prisoner played by Sebastian Koch.
But Willis is walking into a game he knows nothing about. He doesn't know that Courtney is a CIA man and that Koch is playing a game all his own with the help of daughter Yuliya Snigir. It involves hijacking some weapons grade U-235 uranium from Chernobyl, a good place to store the stuff since few ever visit it now.
A Good Day To Die Hard is one non-stop action film from the time some people free Koch from a Moscow courtroom until the climax at Chernobyl where father and son essentially take on the world. Car chases, explosions, impossible situations, what could an action fan ask for more?
My idea for the next Die Hard film is to have Dirty Harry come out of retirement and serve as mentor to the McClanes. Not that Clint Eastwood in his 80s will be doing too much in the way of action, but they'll give him some good cryptic dialog while the McClanes carry the action load.
Stranger films has Hollywood made.
A really not so good day to die hard
The best of the series is easily the first Die Hard, which is one of the all-time greats of the action genre too. Die Hard 2 and Die Hard with a Vengeance were also very good films, while the fourth film was okay but on the forgettable side too. A Good Day to Die Hard, even when watching with an open mind, was a huge disappointment and the only film of the series that I consider bad. It is not quite as awful as After Earth and Scary MoVie, but if there was an award for the most disappointing film of 2013 A Good Day to Die Hard would not only be a contender but also win the prize. Two or three things stop it from having no redeeming qualities at all, the best thing is easily the exciting car chase through Moscow(Russia was a really good choice of setting for the film). The locations are nice and the special effects are mostly good. The film is also quite well scored, with a good sense of atmosphere and mood and it's not too monotonous, overall it serves the film very well but a tad forgettable at times. The rest of A Good Day to Die Hard was an absolute mess. The photography is inconsistent, it's good and appropriately gritty in the scenes where there's any signs of a story but it's in the action sequences where it takes on a rather chaotic and rushed nature in a way that is not ideal for those suffering with epilepsy or sensitive eyes. John Moore's direction is lazy and pedestrian with very little degrees of subtlety, a lot of the time it lacks cohesion as well. Bruce Willis has never looked or sounded as tired as he does here, maybe John McClane was meant to be world-weary here but Willis has very little to work with apart from some tired one-liners.
He is disadvantaged also by McClane being too much of an almost sidelined sidekick rather than the commanding yet vulnerable lead hero that makes him so iconic in the first place, it just wasn't John McClane and it was really a waste of Willis as well. Jai Courtney is annoying, saddled with a character that doesn't come across as likable in the least bit, and the whole father-son dynamic was very forced. The villain is pretty much a non-entity with an underdeveloped motivation and little if any sense of threat, the worst of the series without a shadow of a doubt. A Good Day to Die Hard suffers the most from being an example of a film with too much action and not enough dialogue or story. Even more of a problem is that neither of them are done particularly well at all. In the action, the only good action sequence is the car chase, the rest are drawn out and nowhere near slick enough with no momentum or excitement, the sense of peril is also very low for stunts as dangerous-looking as these with McClane and Jack often coming out unscathed. They're loud and wannabe-big but that's it, as unsubtle as Moore's direction. The dialogue is rambling and tired, the humour feels very out-of-place and the one-liners are too poorly timed to be properly witty. The story is confusing- even for someone who had no problem understanding films that have often been criticised for this like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy- and emotionally hollow, sagged down even more by too many double crosses to properly keep up with, bad pacing(the first half is rushed and the second half drags) and increasing implausibility. Often too it's too much of an excuse to string along action sequences together, seeing as the action is generally poorly done here that is a problem.
All in all, a mess(the only Die Hard film that actually is so) and the worst of the series. 3/10 Bethany Cox