I went into A Good Day to Die Hard with no expectations, and it still failed to meet them.
When you list the top action films in the history of cinema, Die Hard always is at the top of the list. Always. In fact, basically every action film after it was just nicknamed “Die Hard on a ____” because that’s all action movies could be. It’s what made Bruce Willis into the superstar he is today. It was absolute perfection in every aspect. The every-man hero, the evil German terrorist, the love story among the bullets, the two sidekicks, the epic score, the one-liners, the brutality of the action, and the fact that it was basically a western that took place in a modern day skyscraper. It’s so good that I can’t find a word for how good it is. It’s…triumphantastic.
Anyway. Knowing that it made absolute dump trucks of money, it spawned two fairly decent sequels in Die Hard 2: Die Harder, and Die Hard: With a Vengeance. While in no way could these films capture the lightning in a bottle that made the original so good, they were actually pretty decent action pieces. You connected with John McClane. He had problems just like everyone else. He was a human. This is very important because I’ll be referring back to the fact that John McClane is a human being and not a cyborg.
After the release of Die Hard: With a Vengeance, John McClane lay dormant, like the Hero Cthulhu waiting in the skies for his day to come back.
We all were satisfied. We saw the rise and fall of McClane in three separate films, and it was okay. Time to move on. Fast forward 12 years. 12 long years since we’ve seen John McClane. 12 years we have been at peace knowing that McClane does in fact exist and is having all kinds of awesome adventures off wherever he might be.
And then in 2007, Live Free or Die Hard came out. And boy, was it terrible.
McClane didn’t curse. He didn’t smoke. He didn’t seem to really be hurt by anything. He flies a jet. It…it was so bad.
And while I was sure that would be the swan song to the franchise, they made another damn Die Hard.
Here we go.
A Good Day to Die Hard is quite possibly one of the 10 worst movies I’ve ever seen in my life. And I mean that.
There is something other worldly about Die Hard 5. It is almost so bad that at one point I felt the movie was making a parody of itself. That I had entered some alternate dimension where Bruce Willis was well aware of how bad it was so he just started to make fun of it to where he actually caused the whole thing to implode. I had a lot of time to think about things during this film, because for most of it no one said a sentence that had more than three words.
The story, as much as I can remember, has to deal with McClane finding out his son is in Russia, so he flies over to say hey. He has an actual FBI folder on his son and instead of just getting a phone number or something, he just goes over there. He’s in Moscow for all of three minutes before all hell breaks loose and his son LITERALLY runs into him. In Moscow. Turns out his son is a CIA (or something) operative who is protecting a witness from getting a bullet in his head long enough for the witness to find a file that can tie all of his crimes to someone else. His crimes? CHERNOBYL.
As I was trying to muddle through the awfulness on screen, something occurred to me.
For this film”s plot to work, literally 20 things have to have absolute perfect timing, and I mean down to someone opening a door at a specific millisecond. It was something that really started to become quite entertaining as the film went, because I kept guessing exactly what was going to happen. The writing is pretentious and uninspired and the direction was completely flat and a mess. I would say that over half of the movie are tight shots that only show someone’s face. It actually became another game I played, counting how many giant faces showed up. The supporting cast is an absolute joke, and I’m really surprised any of them have jobs in Hollywood. Jai Courtney, who plays Jack, is by far the worst of the pack. If they plan on carrying on the franchise with him in the lead, then we are in for some pretty awful films down the road.
Now, the real problem with this film, besides the boring writer and horrible direction, is John McClane. McClane, in the first three Die Hard films, is a regular person in a terrible situation. He’s not a superhero. When he bleeds, we feel it. The walking on glass scene in the first film is PRIME example of this. Everyone in the theater winces when McClane wraps his slaughtered feet up in white bandages. It’s real.
In A Good Day to Die Hard, McClane falls through 18 floors of scaffolding. He gets up, dusts off, and continues on his way. It happens throughout the entire film. Whenever him and his son are in trouble, they just jump off the roof and into safety. They don’t even look, they just jump. I have a feeling that the writer had no way to end action scenes, so he just made them all end with the McClane clan jumping out of a window.
Yes he says the Yippee Ki-Yay line, and yes it’s terrible.
There are so many pointless plot elements and scenes in the film that you could condense the entire thing into about 45 minutes. The film is a staggering 1 hour 50 minutes and believe me, you most definetly will feel every second pass by. The ending is wide open for a sequel, and I pray to God that it never comes to pass.
The story is awful. The direction is dull and boring. The set pieces are gray and flat. The one-liners get old really quick. The pacing is horrendous.
John McClane needs to rest.
Don’t go watch this movie.
Originally posted 2013-02-19 19:33:05. Republished by Blog Post Promoter