A Good Day To Die Hard. 2013. MPAA: R (for violence and language). Starring: Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney, and Sebastian Koch. Written by Skip Woods and Roderick Thorp. Directed by John Moore.
Bruce Willis has made enough money for just being in the Die Hard film series to support me for the rest of my life. The series has always been a popular hit with action crowds and film critics alike. Now we have been with lead character John McClane for over 20 years, and we have arrived at the release of Die Hard 5. Before I discuss this latest entry into the series, I will give you a brief analysis of the previous 4 films, just stating my personal views on the films.
As for Die Hard, I personally hold it as the best of all of them, and also one of the best action movies, even Christmas movies, ever made. Alan Rickman’s villain is completely relatable and intriguing, persuading the audience to just go along with him with the glide of his consuming voice. Then there was Die Hard 2, or Die Harder, which, while still a good action film, failed to meet the standards of the original. It felt incomplete and too rocky, even if some of the action scenes were very well done. Then there was Die Hard With A Vengeance, my personal favorite of the sequels, which successfully combined Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson, two of my favorites, against the brilliant revenge-bound villain played by Jeremy Irons. Twelve years later came Live Free or Die Hard, the first entry into the series that wasn’t rated R, and it definitely showed. And even though the profane and excessively violent style of the first three was gone, I still think Die Hard 4 is a very cool and action packed thrill ride, with some awesome car chases and fight scenes. Also, the shots of the lightless cities were jaw dropping. At last, we arrive at Die Hard 5, and I prefer to call it that than its actual title, A Good Day To Die Hard, which is absolutely embarrassing, and whoever came up with that title should be slapped around. And John Moore, director, should be as well. Because this movie sucks.
Let me just get this out there one last time just incase you don’t understand my stance on the Die Hard series. I love Die Hard. It is one of my favorite movie series’ of all time, one that can be watched over and over again without getting boring or repetitive. A Good Day To Die Hard isn’t just a bad action film, it’s simply not a Die Hard film. This movie drags on. And on. And on. And the bad thing is, it’s only 97 minutes. The first four films are each over 2 hours in length, and they each go much faster than this piece of crap. I checked my watch during a car chase. That’s never a good sign. Ever. John Moore’s style is absolutely unfitting for this series. Just to give you a taste, watch the movie Max Payne. He directed that. His style isn’t necessarily bad, but it’s not fitting for Die Hard. For those of you who have seen Max Payne, remember the scene when someone is falling through the floors of a building and the camera is descending with them, creating a dropping effect? Yeah, that happens in this film, and it feels out of touch.
Bruce Willis is in the movie, obviously, and that alone will bring in crowds. Oh well. Willis is fine. About the only redeeming quality actually. Jai Courtney (also in last year’s cool action flick Jack Reacher) is good here as well, offering some good chemistry with Willis. Apart from those two, it all sucks. The camera is always too close in the faces of the characters, the car chases go on too long, and everything feels cheap. It’s no longer John McClane, a character we care about and worry about when he is injured. Nope, now it’s John McClane, superhero, who flips his car twenty times and miraculously exits the car uninjured. Screw this. Screw it all.
FINAL VERDICT: A Good Day To Die Hard sucks. Willis spurts a few amusing lines, but nowhere near the amount, or even quality, of those in the previous installments. At only 97 minutes, it drags on for too long. I never thought I would ever leave a Die Hard movie wishing it had ended earlier. But, it happened. If you’re a fan of the series, you know you’ll see it anyway, but you also can’t deny that it sucks. (D)