Written by Markus Robinson, Edited by Nicole I. Ashland
Markus Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars
Rated R for violence and language
Now playing at Century 20 Oakridge Mall in San Jose, California:
In the final installment of the elderly male action hero trilogy of early 2013 ( The Last Stand, Bullet to the Head, and now this) Bruce Willis’ “A Good Day to Die Hard”, undoubtedly the most anticipated of the three, is also sadly the weakest of the lot. And, while “A Good Day to Die Hard” is not as bad as the “Big Momma’s House” father/son sequel from a few years ago, this movie has none of the character development, heart or downright likability of the original “Die Hard”. But then again, neither did the last four.
The Plot: In this installment John McClane (Bruce Willis) in search of his grown and estranged son, Jack, goes to Russia and fights Russians. That’s it! And in turn, since the audience is literally dumped into this far too weak storyline with all of 5 seconds of actual setup, the hope that anyone will have any stake in any of these characters as the film progresses down its action movie checklist, is all but obliterated before the first gun is fired.
But worse than the plot or all around story construction, is the fact that the main character in this “Die Hard” movie isn’t even John McClane! It’s his son, played by Jai Courtney, who actually gives a better performance than Willis himself. But that isn’t saying much, since for much of “A Good Day to Die Hard” Willis seems to be phoning his performance in. That said, Willis is relegated to playing a sort of comic relief side character, which is not at all his forte. So, while he does deliver some watered down one liners such as “I was on vacation” and “I was on vacation”, at times the McClane character is written in such a way that fans of these film may wonder if Skip Woods, the writer here, is even familiar with the original source material.
So, why isn’t this a one star movie? Well, there are two really well crafted “things go boom” action sequences, which work to keep this entire film from feeling like a Michael Bay movie. That is not to say that there isn’t an excessive car chase sequence in the very beginning that goes on for far too long, but I digress. Secondly, the main “bad guy” (for much of this movie) played by Radivoje Bukvic, is played with such fierce flamboyance, that every scene he is in instantaneously becomes quite watchable. But alas, there is far too little of him and far too much of Jai Courtney’s character crying about how John McClane missed his tenth birthday, or whatever.
Final Thought: It’s not as if “A Good Day to Die Hard” was offensively bad in any way (much like many critics would have you believe) it’s just that stripped away of a few impressive explosive sequences, the characters along with their dialogue are lazily manufactured at best, and the storyline is pretty flat and otherwise boring. Basically, the only reason anyone should see this movie, is if you are a diehard fan of the “Die Hard” franchise. Only then do you deserve to be disappointed like this.
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