A Good Day to Die Hard Review

Q: HEY! What if they made a movie out of a Call of Duty game? Wouldn’t that be awesome?!

A: What? You mean complete with incomprehensible plot gesturing vaguely in the direction of Russians with nukes? You mean with samey, monotonous firefights that seem only tangentially connected to the story? You mean with paper-thin characterization which leaves the audience with no investment in the fate of the characters whatsoever? Thats a horrible idea, and go put a helmet on before you hurt yourself.

Alas, that’s nevertheless what we’ve come to in the fifth installment of the pestilentially immortal Die Hard series. If you were excited about another one of these movies, you opinion is objectively wrong. The only thing positive I can say about this film is that it’s so bad that it may actually spare the flagellated series yet another sequel. That being said, get out your biggest rusty nails, and let’s crucify this thing!

Directer John Moore boasts a listless filmography including vastly inferior remakes of The Omen and Flight of the Phoenix to which he will determinedly add another entry. Everything about this production smacks of half-heartedness and generally being phoned-in. Set pieces feel artificial and small and fake in the context of world building, CG is some of the worst since Vampire Hunter, and writing is so uninspired it’s almost comical. The defining characteristics of the series since the original Die Hard are unapologetic dumbing-down and stagnation and sure enough, Moore gives it all he’s got in an effort to continue the trend.

Series veteran Bruce Willis as the legendary super cop John McClain joined by a couple of other undistinguished meatheads including Jai Courtney as CIA operative Jack McClain. I can’t help but blame the otherwise perfectly decent Willis for this debacle as he has allegedly “expressed interest” in shooting A Good Day to Die Hard as well as yet another installment, presumably due to the undoubtedly embarrassing amount of money he was offered to take the part. Even Willis though, who has had a long and actually stellar career, at this point seems to be involved only for the franchise to say “Hey, Kids! Look who it is!” and wring the last nostalgia dollars out of a fan base rapidly losing faith in the property. Suffice it to say, not a single performance stands out in this deliriously mediocre affair.

A Good Day To Die Hard is at a disadvantage from the outset as it will necessarily have to be compared to the original Die Hard, an infinitely better film. Where the original had a refreshingly subversive tone within the conventions of the genre at the time of its release, it’s ironic that the most recent installment in the series falls back into the same cliches and tired tropes that brought the original such widespread acclaim. Way back in the 1980’s, movies like Rambo and Terminator introduced to the world the concept of unstoppable, hulking slabs of muscle wielding obscenely large guns and systematically massacring the bad guys. In 1988, however, the original Die Hard came along and smashed existing customs to pieces, featuring a normal guy instead of shaved bears as well as not unwelcome elements of deception and subterfuge capitalizing on the growing threat of global terrorism at the time.

Even if A Good Die to Die Hard were not compared to the original, it would still stand up shamefully even by today’s standards. Devoid of almost all redeeming qualities, it’s a boring, repetitive, uninspired, cliched and repetitive addition to the franchise. Fans of Bruce Willis will be better off re-watching Armageddon, The Sixth Sense or any number of much better movies which constitute his filmography. As I mentioned in the opening paragraph, the film is overall strongly reminiscent of what a Call of Duty movie would look like if someone ever had the unmitigated stupidity to make one. It saddens me even more to think that there will likely be a Die Hard VI, which, at this point, will surely just contribute to making an even bigger mockery of the franchise. As it stands, I would sooner recommend throwing $10 down the garbage disposal than going to see A Good Day to Die Hard. 

Rating: 1.5 out of 5

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3 thoughts on “A Good Day to Die Hard Review

  1. timneath February 23, 2013 / 8:09 pm

    I recently saw Die Hard 4.0 and that put me off seeing this installment, 4.0 was cold to say the least, with an annoying geek as the support, I’d rather have Mr Jackson back any day, compared to a snotty nosed know it all. I agree with you on Willis having to do them out of the money he’s offered, how could he turn it down. Of course it will make a profit, its nostalgia.

  2. bck1402 February 28, 2013 / 1:45 pm

    Saw it in the cinema, went home and popped in Die Hard 2 into the DVD player.

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