A Good Day to Die Hard (2013)

Director:  John Moore
Cast:  Bruce WillisJai CourtneySebastian Koch
Plot:  John McClane travels to Russia to help out his seemingly wayward son, Jack, only to discover that Jack is a CIA operative working to prevent a nuclear-weapons heist, causing the father and son to team up against underworld forces.

Genre:  Action / Crime / Thriller
Awards:  -
Runtime:  97min
Rating:  NC16 for violence and language.

IN RETROSPECT (Guest Review by Pedro Shiu)
“You know what I hate about the Americans? Everything. Especially cowboys.”

Bruce Willis returns as John McClane in the fifth installment of the ‘Die Hard’ film franchise - A  Good Day to Die Hard.  But does this film live up to expectations?  Sadly no.  Ironically, this installment might be the first in the series to live up to its name, for the franchise really died hard with this film.

A Good Day to Die hard features John McClane doing what he does best – kicking terrorists cowboy style. T he twist is that his now grown up son, Jack (Jai Courtney), joins him.  The father and son team proceeds to incur copious amount of property damage across Russia on a scale that rivals Transformers (2007).

Action sequences, although bordering on repetitive and cliché, were enjoyable.  The pacing is intense, perhaps too rapid.  The complicated plot gets lost in the ricochets and explosions.  A charm of the ‘Die Hard’ franchise was McClane’s smart-talk banter.  It was fun seeing an underdog thwart an intellectually and physically superior adversary by sass and luck. 

In this film, however, McClane is an invincible terminator rather than a cowboy.  McClane’s character is so generic that you may replace Willis with Angelina Jolie or Tom Cruise and the film will still be the same.  The dialogue is forced and artificial.  The motivations of characters were underdeveloped.  The various contrived attempts at developing a father-son subplot were ill timed.

It is ironic that Skyfall (2012) had more organic parent-offspring dynamics than this film.  Perhaps the complicated conspiracy plot came at the opportunity cost of character development.

Verdict:  A Good Day to Die Hard is an acceptable popcorn cruncher, but a sad disappointment to the ‘Die Hard’ series.

Rating: 3 stars
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Anonymous said…
Solid review. The story was too weak, and didn't even seem like a Die Hard film anymore. Although the actions may satisfy, it still failed to impress.
Eternality said…
Thank you. I'll pass on your compliments to my guest reviewer Pedro. On another note, thanks for the heads-up for SAFE HAVEN. I guess I better not review it, since you gave it a crapola.

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