Let’s cut right to the chase, shall we? There’s a scene in “A Good Day to Die Hard” where John McClane (Bruce Willis) drives his car over a slew of other vehicles as if they were a bridge. No second thought it given to the fact that he most likely severely injured a ton of innocent Russians; John McClane does what John McClane has to do. And he does it without accumulating even a bead of sweat.
If this is the sort of action flick preposterousness that makes your head hurt, then this movie isn’t for you. This 5th installment accurately demonstrates everything that is wrong with too many sequels: it’s like a car that starts with a full tank, and then keeps going and going…and going…until it’s completely out of gas. “A Good Day to Die Hard” is the film that has left the “Die Hard” franchise stranded on the side of the road.
That’s not to say that it isn’t any fun to watch. Like that scene I mentioned above, it has its moments of absurd entertainment. But lack of story and character development aside, “A Good Day to Die Hard” suffers from a messy script, one that thinks it’s far funnier than it actually is. I propose a drinking game: take a shot every time Willis says: “I’m on vacation!” or some form of: “Why don’t you call me dad?” (I swear, someone at Fox must have gotten the dates for Father’s Day and Valentine’s Day mixed up.)
That brings us to why McClane is terrorizing Russia in the first place: after getting word that his estranged son Jack (Jai Courtney) is in trouble, McClane flies out to Moscow to help him. Turns out Jack is a CIA agent -- one who doesn’t want or need his father’s help. This leads father and son on a non-stop action rampage to, in their words, “kill all the scumbags.” I’m not going to bother getting deep into plot details, because clocking in at just around 90 minutes, the filmmakers clearly didn’t care much about those details either.
Towards the end, even the action -- which greatly livened up the first half -- became uninspired; imagine a compilation of explosions and people being thrown through glass windows. And the villains? Underdeveloped and uninteresting don’t even begin to describe them -- they had maybe 10 minutes of screen time, tops. If you’re looking for a mindless action flick to quickly pass the time, “A Good Day to Die Hard” adequately fits the bill…but don’t expect it to be any greater than the sum of its parts. At least there’s a lot of boom boom bang bang going on…right?
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