The dialog is bad, the jokes are worse, but the action is great so if that's what you're looking for “A Good Day to Die Hard” is not a terrible movie. Is it worthy of being called a sequel? Absolutely not. It takes a little bit more than the presence of John McClane to be a successful part of this popular franchise. In fact it's arguable whether or not this movie even has McClane in it. Sure, Bruce Willis came back to reprise the role but do we actually get anything other than Bruce Willis? Somewhere out there is a barefoot and reckless police officer from New York who is tired from crawling through the air ducts of a large office building and ridding the world of bad guys in a way that audiences will never forget. This is not the kind of sequel that allows people to relive that again.l
Who is John McClane? Before you see this movie start off by asking yourself that. When we first met him he was trying to sort out a rocky relationship with his separated wife before he ended up saving the many lives of her coworkers. He didn't seem to sure of himself at the time but still he pressed on, trying one crazy attempt after another to stop a group of terrorists and free the lives of innocents. Audiences could identify with a man like that. They seemed to like watching someone who was down on his luck, probably by his own doing, and trying to turn things around. John McClane is every guys hero, one who may have a few personal issues to work out but one who also means well and would sacrifice everything he has to prove it. He's never been anything as simple as another big action hero with a gun.
As far as Die Hard movies go there were just so many things that set them apart from the rest. First off, there was always one main bad guy with a very elaborate plan to get some money. Although this is not an entirely original idea the casting and writing for Die Hard has always been unique. Alan Rickman and Jeremy Irons proved that by creating two of the most memorable villains of all time in previous films from the series. Then there's McClane. Somehow he consistently ends up alone and resolves to be the only man with the ability to stop these guys, and the action sequences he gets involved in are spectacular. That's another trait from the Die Hard series, amazing action. There has to be a nail biting experience that seems no one could possibly survive and then a heroic act from McClane proving otherwise. We need to see him doing the impossible like jumping off a building with only a fire hose wrapped around his waist or surfing a dump truck through a sewer flooded with water. We need to be right there with him wondering if it's going to work and hoping that he makes it out alive. Without these elements there's just no reason for a movie to be considered as a sequel, yet it's happened.
This new movie left a few of those details out, that's for sure. You can't really tell who the villain is for one thing. When it's all over it seemed like there might actually have been three. Plus, John wasn't scared or alone anymore. He faced odds this time side by side with his son who appeared as you'd expect, a younger and tougher version of him. The two of them did end up in a couple of scary situations but John was hardly afraid. Everything was routine for him and he didn't appear to mind. If he hadn't complained three times throughout the film that he was supposed to be on vacation you might even get the feeling he wanted to be there. Those complaints he made didn't help the movie either. They were sad attempts at comedy that fell flat and created more groans than laughter . Things got even worse when the phrase Yippie Kay Yay was once again brought back. Willis's delivery this time showed about as much effort as a drunk puts into changing his clothes before he goes to sleep. It was probably his way of showing how tired the character must be from consistently ending up in the same place. That brings up another issue with this movie. Why is it that John McClane is still not recognized as a hero after saving the day four other times now? Once again when the film opens you see people treating him like a lowlife. It's all very tired and done before.
On a positive note, as far as action flicks go the movie really isn't all that bad. If you can separate yourself from the series and treat this like any other shoot'em up adventure found at your local convenience store you seriously could do a lot worse. It's just depressing when you have to reduce a movie to something like that in order to enjoy it. Most likely that isn't what audiences are hoping for when they go to see it. Still the only way to appreciate what's been done is to take Die Hard out of the title altogether. Consider this movie as a sequel and it's mediocre at best.
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