As a person that normally thinks a new “Die Hard” movie is a perfect date scenario, this Valentine’s Day was a major disappointment. “A Good Day to Die Hard” does not belong in the famed action movie series despite the presence of John McClane and his signature catchphrase.
In his latest adventure, John McClane (Bruce Willis) tracks down his estranged son Jack (Jai Courtney) in a Russian prison. When he arrives in Russia, John approaches the courthouse Jack is set to testify in but is thrust into chaos as Jack and political prisoner Komarov (Sebastian Koch) flee and are pursued by unknown aggressors. As Jack unveils his secret job to his father, the pursuers catch up and send Komarov and the two McClanes on the run. In pursuit of a political file to gain American support, Komarov reaches out to his daughter (Yuliya Snigir) to have her by his side in his new life. Their plans don’t work perfectly which leads mostly to shoot-outs, explosions, and a silly attempt at a twist.
John McClane is supposed to be a relatable hero, but he can somehow hold his own and improve on his son’s C.I.A. spy skills in “A Good Day to Die Hard.” His improvisational skills are all testosterone and cockiness rather than his quick thinking from the previous films. He opts to hit anyone including civilians that gets in his way and smashes vehicles in ridiculous car chases, relying on his ego and muscles to get him by.
The story has absolutely no meat to it. The Russian plot, even involving a trip to Chernobyl, is not very relevant anymore. Writer Skip Woods is partially responsible for one of the worst movies I have ever seen: “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” and “A Good Day to Die Hard” is not much better. The relationship between John and Jack is annoying as their complicated history has them vying for Alpha male. The duo does not make a team that is fun to watch interact. Many attempts are made at humor with a substantial amount of one-liners, but they just aren’t funny and usually don’t feel natural. The story has nowhere to go, so they throw in one asinine twist lacking originality to spice it up.
The only reason most audiences will actually enjoy “A Good Day to Die Hard” is that there are few pauses. The action is a constant bombardment of guns, cars, explosions, and helicopters with John and Jack dodging bad guys for almost every second. It is thrilling in its consistency but nothing is impressive. It has the most action of a “Die Hard” film, but the choreography is lame, the special effects are weak, and the cinematography is choppy and often out of focus. The attempt to modernize the “Die Hard” series loses the simplicity of McClane and instead feels like the filmmakers are trying to be more like “Mission: Impossible” or “The Bourne Identity.” Skip Woods and director John Moore should know: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Rating for “A Good Day to Die Hard:” D-
For more information on this film or to view its trailer, click here.
“A Good Day to Die Hard” is playing in most theaters across Columbus, including the Grandview Theatre and Marcus Crosswoods and Pickerington. For showtimes, click here.