A Good Day to Die Hard

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"Hang on, John! "

March 21st, 2013

We are all guilty at some point in our lives of revelling in a little nostalgia. Brief media references, or re-runs on television allow us to self indulge and reminisce about the things we held dear at various points in our lives. Hollywood is often keen to roll back the years with endless remakes and somewhat unnecessary sequels to esteemed classics. A Good Day to Die Hard falls into the latter category.

There are always two pertinent questions raised for movies of this nature. Will it be a fitting homage to a respected franchise? Or will sully all the other films we've come to love by being a runt in the DVD litter?Quite frankly I am surprised this movie ever was made. There seemed to be no logical need for it, but then again when does that ever matter in Hollywoodland? So what do we get from this superfluous love child in the Die Hard franchise?

The film follows John McClane (Willis) on his travels to Russia to seemingly bail out his estranged son (Courtney). Upon touchdown McClane quickly discovers his son is actually a C.I.A operative trying to prevent a nuclear heist. Undoubtedly this leads to father and son teaming up to save the day.

Having already lowered my expectations as of poor reviews and negative feedback from friends, I still expected to be entertained is some small way. Unfortunately this was not the case. The film fails on every level imaginable.

The plot is wafer thin, but you come to expect that from the modern blockbuster so this isn't my biggest gripe. The movie just isn't enjoyable at all! The actions sequences are ludicrously unrealistic (and not in a so bad they're good way). It may sound harsh knocking an action flick as your expected to suspend some rational thought to fully immerse yourself but it just simply is too impossible to ignore (especially in a franchise that was originally grounded in reality).

There are two particular occasions where the McClane jumps out of 100 storey buildings to evade the ever pressing enemy yet remains completely unscathed despite the suicidal nature of his actions. We have long passed the days when broken glass was a debilitating hazard.

My personal favourite sequence comes towards the end of the movie where McClane has a showdown with a helicopter (sigh). The laws of physics as defined by Newton or any teacher in the history of school education do not apply. Even disregarding all you know of gravity the McClane boys survive their impending doom by conveniently landing in a swimming pool located within a nuclear facility?. Granted I will admit that my knowledge of interior design when it comes to nuclear facilities is very limited, but a swimming pool in Chernobyl?

Putting aside the unsatisfying action elements we move on to the other grating aspect of this feature. The dialogue. For some reason everyone seems intent on stating the obvious, there is no room for the subtle nuance here. The jokes just aren't funny in the slightest. There is a particularly painful scene with a Russian taxi driver and John McClane that just doesn't work. If making a Russian man sing Frank Sinatra in a dodgy accent (not that far removed from events you could find in the Rush Hour movies) is considered great comedic material it's time to pack up and go home.

There is no ingenuity when it comes to the one-liners. They aren't remotely witty and easily forgettable but at least we still have one catchphrase we all want to hear, oh wait no, it is edited out!

Then there are clunky scenes between John McClane and his son meant to illicit emotion on screen. Fatherhood issues, family dynamics, forgiveness and redemption are presented poorly holding no resonance for the audience. In fact it's laughable how quickly the characters depart from their initial stance in regards to Jack McClane, (The Son, really all the development you need to understand his motivations).

I seldom say this about any movie going experience, but it genuinely felt like a waste of time. The only redeeming quality was the fact it came to a quick conclusion. This is a great shame as even Die Hard 4.0 (Live Free or Die Hard) whilst not the best movie was a pleasant experience. Part 5 was anything but. If this is what we can expect more of in the future it may be indeed be a good day for this franchise to die.

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Movie Details

Movie Poster Here
Director: John Moore
Screenplay: Skip Woods
Rating: 12 (Thats right)
Starring:Bruce Willis
Jai Courtney
Sebastian Koch