A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD
“Liam Neesons is da shitz!”
“You know who’s better than da Liam Neesons?”
“Bruce Willie.” (Key and Peele)
Five movies deep, and though there were a few potholes along the highway, Bruce Willis is still going strong as New York Detective John McClane. The Die Hard series adds another chapter with “A Good Day to Die Hard”, a chapter not as good as the first or third episodes, but certainly better than the second.
“A Good Day to Die Hard” is strictly guy fare. Gone are the grittiness of the original and the racial tension of the third. This film exaggerates the impossible stunts peppered throughout the fourth film in the series and attempts to tie them all together with a sloppy reunion of father and son. Watching this unfold in the critics screening, if I hadn’t known better, I would have thought Michael Bay was at the helm. Director John Moore, certainly no slouch to action films, seems hellbent on blowing up every prop in the movie.
Once again, our protagonist McClane finds himself caught between good guys and bad, though this time, the good guy is his son, played by Jai Courtney. Scriptwriter Skip Woods opts to ignore Muslims and resurrects, once again, the Russian antagonists seeking nuclear grade U-235 to blow up the world. President Ronald Reagan already dealt with and defeated the Russians. And, even though the limp wrist in the White House is currently allowing Putin to rebuild the old USSR alliances, the Russians are not currently seeking to destroy America, like the loonies in the Middle East. This is what happens when too many Sheiks pump money into Tinseltown. Rounding out the cast are Sebastian Koch, Mary Elizabeth Winstead (another of the dreaded three-named people) and Yuliya Snigir.
KEY SCENES TO LOOK FOR:
- THE OPENING CHASE SCENE
- THE CHANDELIER SCENE
“A Good Day to Die Hard” is filled with everything you’d expect from a fifth film in a series; clever one liners and over the top action. Only “da Bruce Willie” can fall 50 floors off a building, a million feet from a helicopter, flip and demolish three vehicles and still walk away without serious injury. I need three weeks in a hospital for tripping over my bathrobe sash.
This should be the last for the series. Willis has found a new home with Stallone and crew in “The Expendables” and he fits better now in that genre. The last two Die Hard movies are worth a view, but do not endure and certainly don’t merit a spot on your video collection shelf. Don’t get me wrong, any action film is better than half the dribble oozing out of Hollywood these days, so “A Good Day to Die Hard” is fun if you’re looking for suspended realism, ridiculous stunts and an opportune moment to say: “Yippee Ky-Yay, Motherfucker!”
THE GRADE FOR A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD = B-
Fiore Mastracci is a retired action film star and stuntman who now writes movie reviews for the ultra-conservative political group “Founding Fathers”.