Posted by: ckckred | June 24, 2013

A Good Day To Die Hard

Yippie-Ki-Yay Mother Russia

Yippie-Ki-Yay Mother Russia

When the original Die Hard starring Bruce Willis came out back in 1988, it broke out from the action movie genre, which has made it one of the most iconic films of the field.  Unlike other actors like Sylvester Stallone, Willis seemed like a normal, regular guy since he’s less hulking.  His character John McClane also had a personal motive in the story (he had to save his wife from a terrorist).  Die Hard created the movie cliché of “the wrong person at the wrong time.”  Many movies took the same premise, some successfully (Speed), some not (Speed 2).

But the biggest rip-offs of Die Hard are Die Hard‘s own sequels, which never managed to fully replicate the excitement of the original.  Still, the Die Hard movies have worked as good entertainment.  But the latest incarnation, A Good Day To Die Hard, doesn’t even provide that function.  It’s not only the worst of the series (which it takes easily), but doesn’t even seem to be a part of it.  Even 2007’s Live Free or Die Hard, which had a PG-13 rating, was more faithful to the franchise than this film.

In this episode, John McClane heads off to Moscow after discovering his long absent son Jack (Jai Courtney) is there.  As it turns out, Jack is a member of the CIA sent to protect Russian billionaire Yuri Komarov (Sebastian Koch) in a plot that made absolutely no sense to me, either because it was too confusing or I didn’t care.

From there on out, McClane and his son go out and fight terrorists.  Director John Moore uses every cliché possible in the movie.  John and Jack have a typical father-son relationship done better in hundreds of other movies.  It seems that Jack constantly reminds the audience how old his father is and then John either makes a wisecrack about Jack being too young.  The movie has about three twists, all of which are very predictable and really uninteresting.

Still, even with a bad plot, A Good Day To Die Hard can still be dumb fun, but the action sequences are all loud, obnoxious, and boring.  Many of the scenes rely on heavy CGI and everything felt fake for me.  There was no realism in the movie and at least in four points do the McClanes jump from buildings or helicopters and seem perfectly fine afterward.

What’s even more disappointing is John McClane himself, now pretty much the only connection to the original.  McClane is stripped of any dimensionality and really is now of a walking, talking, wisecrack machine.  Willis isn’t even trying in the role, making the same smirk each scene and delivers the jokes blandly.

Still, as bad as A Good Day To Die Hard is, there were a few good parts, like a sequence where McClane punches an angry Russian driver.  But they don’t make up for the rest of the movie.  And if I wanted to see more moments like that, I’d watch the original Die Hard instead.  A sixth installment is coming up and hopefully it will redeem this franchise, which now seems to have died hard.



  1. I think a lot of why Willis just phoned it in is because Moore literally is on record saying that he didn’t want to direct him. He said something like, oh, he IS John McClane, so my job was to just let him do whatever. Yea…and that’s why he directed shit like The Omen remake and Max Payne. A good director should direct, not sit around like a fanboy and let the actor do whatever he wants. Ugh. This movie sucks.

    • Thanks for the comment. Yeah, that’s a great description. Moore didn’t do anything in the movie and Bruce Willis seemed to be hardly trying.

  2. I agree, it was awful. I love Bruce Willis and action films, and yet I was so bored I fell asleep. I wish I hadn’t bought it on Blu Ray too.

    • Yeah, I was pretty bored as well. It isn’t even entertaining.

  3. If there is another movie I really hope it does this franchise justice. This sequel was pretty bad to me. I remember leaving the theater pretty frustrated. Good review buddy.

    • Thanks! Yeah, hopefully a sequel can manage to redeem the series. This movie was absolutely awful.

  4. Nice job–I really liked Live Free or Die Hard, but this one didn’t get me into the theaters to see it.

    • Thanks! I missed this film in theaters too and only felt to see this movie since I enjoyed the previous installments. Big mistake.

  5. Ha ha, it’s terrible isn’t it?

    • It was. I didn’t expect it to be this bad. Thanks for the comment.

  6. I didn’t think any would surpass DIE HARD 2 as the worst in the series. I was wrong ;-).

    • Thanks for the comment. Easily the worst of the series.

  7. Good review. As a Die Hard: it’s probably the worst. But hell, you do a lot worse if you were looking for a simple, run-of-the-mill action flick.

    • Thanks! Yeah, it’s the worst Die Hard movie but I suppose there are worse action films.

  8. I have no desire to see this film and that is goddamn shame.

    • It is and there’s no reason to see it. I was hoping with low expectations I would enjoy it but it was pretty terrible.

  9. Fantastic review ck! I am SO glad I skipped this. And i also loved the timing of it, wasn’t it one of those Valentine’s Day-for-those-not-in-relationships releases? lol

    • Thanks! Yeah, it was a wise decision to skip this one. I guess this should have been slated for a Father’s day release rather than a Valentine’s Day’s one.

  10. I made the mistake of seeing this movie on my birthday. I did not see any movies for a month after that nightmare.

  11. Agree, it was a horrible movie…lately it seems Bruce Willis isn’t even trying anymore. Although there are two sides to the story I always remember the stories Kevin Smith told about him. He’s very hard to work with and sometimes refuses to take directions. This wasn’t a Die Hard movie and not one I will ever want to rewatch. Really a waste of time.

    • Yeah, it was pretty terrible. I think Willis’ ego might have exploded with the film. He should really try to star in some smaller films (like recently Moonrise Kingdom), he’s good in more serious roles. Thanks for commenting.

  12. I didn’t bother with the fourth one and had no interest in seeing this whatsoever. I don’t get the whole aging action hero thing that’s going on at the moment. Well, apart from the money thing, of course.

    • Thanks for the comment. There’s no reason to see this movie. I think the old action hero part of the Die Hard series is just an excuse to put in a lot of old man jokes.

  13. dumb fun is true. Die Hard is now a “roll your eyes and sigh” series. I mean, how many times can he jump from a building and not break any bones?

    A big problem for me with this one was the amount of useless characters…from BOTH of the daughters that are in the movie, to McClane #2…just, bleah.

    Glad for the level of action though. it made up for some of my frustrations.

    nice review!

    • Thanks! Good point about the female characters being underwritten. I don’t think they really served a purpose in the film.

  14. Good review. Agree it’s a terrible movie. Search for “Bruce Willis The One Show” on youtube, and you’ll find one of his UK appearances to promote the film, which is one of the most awkward interviews I’ve seen. It’s obvious he has literally no interest in the film.

    • Thanks! I’ll check out that interview soon, but I’m not surprised he had no interest in the film. It was pretty horrible.

  15. I thought it was hilariously stupid how McClane and son kept blindly jumping out of buildings yet somehow always landed safely. I’ll still watch the next sequel but on home video. Nice review by the way!

    • Thanks! Yeah, there was no logic behind it. I know that action filmmakers have to break a few laws of physics sometimes, but that was just ridiculous.

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