|This is just one stupid scene from A Good Day To Die Hard. There are many, many more.|
This staggeringly inept fifth entry into the much-loved action franchise finds John McClane heading for Russia, where his son, Jack, has got into trouble with the authorities. He hasn't spoken to his son for a long time, and assumes he's gotten himself mixed up with the wrong crowd. In reality, Jack is working for the CIA, trying to extract a political prisoner, for reasons that, much like everything else in the film, remain unclear. Thus the elder McClane is reduced to following him around and teaming up with him, like a version of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, but with our former hero as the funny dad character.
If you watch this movie and enjoy it, you're watching it wrong. Sorry, other opinions are available and whatnot, but it's really tough to see what anyone could enjoy about this. The previous entry, Die Hard 4.0, was derided for having McClane appear near-invulnerable, but it wasn't actually a bad movie. Granted, it was a bad Die Hard movie, but it was hardly a total disaster. In this, McClane is pure, straight invulnerable, and thus there are no stakes whatsoever, and the result is a total disaster. It's disappointing on just about every conceivable level, and incompetent on a few others too.
Max Payne and X-Men Origins: Wolverine isn't quite enough to prepare you. This movie is just plain fucking dull, from an obnoxiously silly car chase through Moscow, in which McClane flippantly kills hundreds of people, to a staggeringly stupid plot twist at Chernobyl. When will movie producers learn that Chernobyl is not a great movie location? This one even out-stupids Chernobyl Diaries and Transformers: Dark of the Moon, with a high-tech device that somehow clears all of the radiation in the place, to enable the climax to take place without the leads being stuffed into haz-mat suits.
Bruce Willis remains the star, around whom everything orbits, so he's as much to blame as the writer and director here. One of the tales that Kevin Smith told, about his experience of working with Bruce Willis on the much-maligned Cop Out, is that the star would wreck whole shooting days by turning up and tearing out pages of the script, dismissing them as "chuffa". That A Good Day To Die Hard is even worse than Cop Out shows that Willis' editorial prowess might not be all it's cracked up to be- this is "Chuffa: The Movie".
Willis knows it too- somewhere between Die Hard 4.0 and this one, he's either forgotten how to play John McClane, or he doesn't really want to any more. He's dead on arrival, and it's a huge disappointment after the back-to-back surprises of Moonrise Kingdom and Looper. Jai Courtney is no more than a beefcake with daddy issues, but nobody could say that's his fault, when the atrocious script doesn't ask him to be anything else. That we're even talking about a Die Hard film where there is no interesting villain to speak of, should tell you how truly misjudged this is.
A Good Day To Die Hard is now showing in cinemas nationwide.
FINAL NOTE: Regardless of the movie itself, there needs to be some kind of award for the people who did the marketing campaign for this one. The use of 'Ode For Joy' in the trailers was inspired, and even after seeing the full movie, it's hypnotising me into thinking it looks good. I don't see it as false advertising as much as a heroic salvage attempt. Bravo!
If you've seen A Good Day To Die Hard, why not share your comments below? If you haven't seen it, why not watch Die Hard With A Vengeance again? It's clearly the best of the sequels, and it's better than the kick-in-the-dick that this movie encapsulates.
I'm Mark the mad prophet, and until next time, don't watch anything I wouldn't watch.