A Good Day to Die Hard (2013) - Can't Stop the Movies
Can't Stop the Movies

A Good Day to Die Hard (2013)

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You may not be too old for this, but the directors don't seem to get it anymoreRyan // DISLIKE BannerBy the time that anyone reads this review there is a good chance that A Good Day to Die Hard will be close to out of theaters because it isn’t like it is blowing up the charts.  Why did I wait so long to write the review and why am I even bothering doing it now?  The answer to both of those questions are I didn’t want to admit how bad the film was but at the same time I need to get it off my chest.

If you are a frequent listener to our podcasts or read many of my action reviews you will know that I am a huge fan of the Die Hard franchise.  The first film is the pinnacle of all action films, the 2nd is fun if over the top, 3 is a movie that is just barely underneath the quality of 1 and 4 is so much fun I never tire of watching it.  Before A Good Day to Die Hard, I have loved or really liked all the films and that all ended with the almost unwatchable 5th film.

Finally we get to the aspect that audiences connect to with everyman John McClane - absentee parenting.

Finally we get to the aspect that audiences everywhere connect to with everyman John McClane - absentee parenting.

Here we have John McClane (Bruce Willis) traveling to Russia because his son is in a lot of trouble. McClane knows this because his friend in the force somehow got him a Russian police file detailing his sons arrest and prior history.  McClane arrives in Moscow at the court house where his son Jack (Jai Courtney) is waiting to be tried for murder.  Of course the second McClane arrives a giant explosion happens and McClane is already in the midst of a car chase.  After a car chase that somehow had three different groups smashing into each other randomly, we find out that Jack is actually CIA and is trying to protect and move a prime asset out of the country.  This movie then spends a little under 90 minutes blowing things up with no thought to character development or building any tension.  After a mercifully short run time for the movie, another hint that this movie was creatively bankrupt, these are the things I did not care about at all:

  • Jack McClane
  • McClane and his relationship with his son
  • Komarov and his relationship with his daughter
  • The villains plot
  • The villains
  • The villains henchmen
  • Russia

The movie is a lifeless husk that goes from car chases to shootouts to exploding helicopters.  It never takes time establish the threat or make the villain interesting in the least.  This is the worst that that a Die Hard film could do because it has made its name in giving us awesome villains throughout the series, starting with the best bad guy ever, Hans Gruber.  A big part of the series is the back and forth between McClane and whomever he is stopping and the newest film didn’t even bother to take a few minutes to put this in at all.

Pictured: something I did not care about.

Pictured: something I did not care about.

A Good Day to Die Hard also took that final step and made McClane a superhero that is impervious to pain or injury.  The first movie he is scared, hurt and powering through because he had no other option.  I didn’t mind when he threw a car at a helicopter or fought a plane in 4 because at least he was still getting beat up and seemed to want to be doing anything but what he was.  In this film he picks up the gun and starts shooting people with no second thought and instead of empathizing with a nasty wound on Jack (the result of falling many stories out of a building) he makes fun of him until he “mans up” and pulls the rod sticking in his stomach out.

This is not the character that I have loved for 25 years!

Everyone is to be blamed for this movie being made from director John Moore whom has always cared more about looking cool than human emotion, to the studio execs who knew it wasn’t a good movie but fast tracked it anyway and especially Willis who should protect this franchise much better than he did.  Although the person I blame the most for this film is me, I thought it wouldn’t be good, the previews were bland and the early word was awful.  Yet, I was there on opening weekend paying for my ticket with hope in my heart. I helped contribute to its opening weekend win (although a hollow win for Fox) and told the makers that it doesn’t matter what type of shit you package, as long as it says Die Hard on the title I will pay to see it.  I should have known better and dammit I didn't.

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A Good Day to Die Hard - TailA Good Day to Die Hard (2013)

Directed by John Moore.
Screenplay written by Skip Woods.
Starring Bruce Willis.

Posted by Ryan

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