A Good Day To Die Hard Reviews
This time around, McClane finds himself out of his depths in the former USSR while trying to rescue his son, Jack (played by Aussie Jai Courtney), who wound up on the wrong side of the law after gunning down a Moscow crime boss.
John and Jack's relationship has always been strained and the pair hasn't spoken in years. John has long suspected his tearaway son was a drug dealer due to his lack of employment or subsequent need for financial assistance.
However, when the courthouse that is set to host Jack's trial explodes and a gang of machinegun wielding Russian mobsters starts wreaking havoc in the streets, our hero quickly learns that the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree. His son is a spook, a CIA operative, and neckdeep in a volatile mission that could spell of the end of the world if he fails to complete it.
When John gets in the way, he gets caught in the middle of it and has to join forces with his offspring and ... well, you know the rest.
While it is undoubtedly an enjoyable film, A Good Day to Die Hard lacks the gravitas of its predecessors.
Director John Moore has tried desperately to return the series to "its former glory", making countless references to the original and adopting a visual styling which was almost pure John McTiernan. The problem for me was that he seemed to be trying to fix something that wasn't broken. The universe of the series has expanded far beyond the ill-fated building in LA and subsequently foregone its last tenuous shreds of realism.
It is now perfectly acceptable for our hero to "kill a helicopter with a car" because he's out of bullets or to surf a crumbling freeway as it's blown apart by an F18. Moore seemed content on bringing the series back down a notch from where it was is Die Hard 4.0, focusing more heavily on the storyline and characters rather than the shoot'em up, blow'em up stuff we all went there for.
The action sequences were impeccable - the congested car chase through Moscow one of the best in recent memory - but they were too few and far between. The storyline was good, the way they tied real life disasters in was extremely clever, but it just wasn't terribly exciting. So much of the film revolved around intrigue when the punchline was bleating obvious from the get-go.
I didn't like Courtney as Jack McClane. His performance was rigid, wooden even, and he lacked the essential charisma to carry off the role. He also had zero chemistry with Willis, which made their scenes together seem more like rigmarole than fuel for the narrative's dramatic engine. He certainly wasn't in the same league as McClane's last two off-siders (Justin Long and Samuel L. Jackson).
At the end of the day though, Die Hard is like any other action franchise, be it Lethal Weapon, Rocky, Rambo, Terminator or even Dirty Harry. We know the sequels will never give us the same level of excitement as the original did but the reason we watch them is because we love the heroes and the universe.
The Verdict: If you want to just catch up with Detective John McClane again and watch on while he gleefully shoots bad guys, blows stuff up and causes shenanigans then check it out. Just readjust your expectations from Die hard with a vengeance.
Published: The Queanbeyan Age
Date of Publication: 26/04/2013
Who does not like Bruce Willis? I mean, he has done some movies I am not a fan of, but John McClane is his best character and this movie mostly shows that. He comes into the situation trying to find his son and figure out what has happened. Turns out, his son is a spy and they both have to work together in order to stop World War 3!! So I mean, he still acts as he has in the 4 other Die Hard movies!! He gives you that feeling of relating to him as a cop and as a father and that is why we love John McClane. Yes, he did become a big time super hero in the last film and this one but he is still the character that we all love. Rating 4/5
Jai Courtney does a great job as John McClane's son. He does not have a good relationship with his father and he does not want his father to help him on his mission. But they do work together because they have no choice, and through the film, his son begins to trust his father again and it shows that he does love his dad, but does not know how to show it. They both show great chemistry on screen together and you could believe that they could kick some butt together!! Rating 4/5
Now lets get into the directing, John Moore has had some bad films. The Omen remake and Flight of the Phoenix were just bad movies period! But I enjoyed the Max Payne movie and I thought Behind Enemy Lines was a good action flick with good sequences so he has done some good work. There is no question that this was his moment to shine and I think he did a good job, not a great job, but it was good. He did miss some mistakes that were made in the film, like when McClane swipes the card for the elevator scene, the card is not slided correctly and it shows. Also, when the main villain calls his daughter, the numbers are showing on the phone as to dial the number, so he could not be talking to her at all. That is not good editing, however, he did a great job with the action sequences and angles. True their was some CGI, but he mostly used practical effects and I am really glad he did. The last movie was too much CGI to me so they went old school and the car sequence was the best car chase I have ever seen!! Definitely worth watching. The feeling was very different then the previous installments, but I like that part of the movie because it was not the same as the others and it stands alone. I might be the only one that liked the shaky cam, but it made it feel real, so good job their Mr. Moore. Overall, could have done a few things better, but John Moore did a good job. Rating 3/5 for Directing
The screenplay was the weakest area of the movie. I mean, a file as a big part of the premise!! You could do much better than that Skip Woods!! The villains were not very impressive. Given away to early in the movie and they should have had just one villain that got help along the way, but 4 main villains is to many and they were not very strong willed. They also lost some of the magic from the previous movies, good chemistry between Bruce and Jai, but McClane and Jack should have been banged up way more than they were so they have to be more realistic in the 6th movie if they make it. Rating for the villain and screenplay 0.5/5
To conclude this long review, I did enjoy this movie!! It did have some bad moments, and the plot was the weakest of all the die hard films!! The villains were also the weakest in the whole series. It is not up to par as the original, the third or fourth movies, but I do believe it beat Die Hard 2. Bruce will always be John McClane and he might be a super hero in this movie, but that character still is here so I do not mind that much if he is a super hero, especially after all he has been through with the past 4 movies. Jai Courtney was pretty good, so props to him. If you like hard core action with great effects and if you are a Die Hard fan, then see this movie because it really is a fun 98 minutes!