If you don't like "Die Hard," then you may want to get yourself checked out. The original film from 1988 is held in extremely high regard even to this day. It's often labeled as one of the greatest action films of all time and some even consider it to be their favorite Christmas themed film, as well. "Die Hard 2" and "Die Hard with a Vengeance" are entertaining sequels while "Live Free or Die Hard" was okay; not great and hardly worth the 12 year wait between films, but passable. Something really terrible happened with "A Good Day to Die Hard" though. Maybe it's because director John Moore is saying that it was Bruce Willis who came up with the idea of John McClane being reunited with his son, but "A Good Day to Die Hard" feels like the one movie Nicolas Cage rejected in the past millennium that Bruce Willis decided to scoop up. That's an enormous feat considering this is the fifth film in an ongoing franchise.
Get ready for a big, heaping portion of thick and extremely stiff acting from both Sebastian Koch and Radivoje Bukvic. Are you trying to portray Russians who can't act? If so, you're doing a good job. Bad acting and stiff dialogue rear their ugly head in the opening scene and just douse the movie in their thick juices repeatedly until it ends. The score sounds like this generic rip-off blend of Thomas Newman's "Skyfall" soundtrack and Hans Zimmer's and James Newton Howard's "The Dark Knight" soundtrack. If none of that gets to you, then the lousy camera work will. There is this lengthy car chase that is completely held back by disoriented cinematography and reprehensible dialogue (more on that later). Everything is so blurry and shaky. Meanwhile what you can make out is so sloppy, shots aren't steady, and the camera seems to zoom-in suddenly for no reason at all and is jiggled around like someone is holding a camcorder while drunk and trying to balance on a trampoline.
Bruce Willis turns 58 this year. While middle age usually means slowing down for possible retirement or at least investing in some chewy vitamins or laxatives, it apparently means that John McClane has become indestructible. In this film alone he flips a truck and then gets up and runs away without a scratch, rolls two cars, jumps out of a building twice, and is thrown through a window by a helicopter. There's also the ridiculous amount of one-liners you have to put up with that are just so corny and feel so forced that you almost forget about that weird gun-knife thing John's son Jack (Jai Courtney) has on him for half the movie that always has to be pointed out for some reason. We get it; it's a knife that shoots bullets.
Golden examples of John's lame dialogue includes yelling "Guess who?" at a truck, calling Komarov (Koch) "Papa Gepetto," the McClanes offering each other hugs and then bringing up that they're not a hugging family, John asking Jack "You're not gonna cry again, are you?" before giving him a hard time about it for five minutes, jumping and falling out of a building and then asking if Jack wants to go again, and John saying he deserves the father of the year award. The phrases, "Shut up!" and "I'm on vacation!" are also only said about a dozen times each. It's the gift that keeps on giving.
In between all of these daddy issues between Jack and John, Komarov is in possession of a file that could assist in incriminating corrupt Russian official Chagarin (Sergei Kolesnikov). An all out war breaks out between the CIA, which Jack works for, and the men who work under Chagarin and his lackey Alik (Radivoje Bukvic). A good portion of the film is devoted to Jack trying to get Komarov to a safe place with John in tow. Jack keeps talking about how John screwed him and continuously brings up how there's no time for this or that, but then makes time to stand around and listen to daddy's emotional breakdown. Alik decides to do his best Bugs Bunny impression in front of his hostages before doing a little jig and pointing out that he could have been a dancer. The sad thing is that bullet piercing your brain would hurt a lot less than witnessing him dance or try to act again, but it does make you wonder why they didn't try to squeeze in Elton John's "Tiny Dancer" during the end credits.
Without giving away too much, someone is shot in the head and then the gunman shoots this same individual five times in the chest. The body lingers around and is shown on camera for the next few scenes. Once you see the body lying on the ground, you see that this individual was wearing a bullet proof vest and where the bullets hit completely rendering those extra shots pointless. Maybe it was a new gun that was just being tested out or maybe it's some unusual Russian custom. The real culprit probably lies within the writer trying to write this movie blindfolded with a potato bag over his head while being hogtied, skewered, and slowly rotated over a roaring campfire like some sort of weird hillbilly approved rotisserie.
There's one scene in "A Good Day to Die Hard" where John and Jack jump out of a building and fall through its layers in slow motion. It lasts maybe 60 seconds and is the only enjoyable aspect of what is otherwise a waste of 97 minutes. Its cinematography is a mess, the acting is painful, the dialogue seems like it will cause permanent brain damage if exposed to it for too long (kind of like the radiation in Chernobyl), and the entire story gives you fatigue as soon as it starts because it's been done so many times. Those laxatives are sounding pretty good right about now, aren't they John?