A Good Day to Die Hard review
I apoligize how infrequently these reviews show up, my work at WCU is multiplying like rabbits and I have been able to keep up with recent movies. But, I will not deny my readers, so here is the next entry:
Remember a little film a couple decades ago named Die Hard starring Bruce Willis? Yea, kind of a big deal. To this day, it is still a favorite amongst many action movie fans. It has been so successful, due to the intense action sequences and Bruce Willis' charms, that it has spawned 4 sequels. These sequels, haven't held a candle to the original. The closest being the 4th film: Live Free and Die Hard, this was another great movie. So how does the 5th and latest movie hold up? Not too bad.
The movie takes place in Moscow, Russia, quite the detour from the previous 4 films. The reason is because John McClane (Bruce Willis) is off to find his son, Jack McClane (Jai Courtney). Jack is in big trouble because he has killed a big leader in Russia, not the head of state or anything, just an important man. Meanwhile, Jack is in the middle of a big undercover mission for America, to recover an old scientist and his designs for weapons. After the John shows up and Jack's mission fails, it is up to father and son to save the world from nuclear weapons.
Ok, so what doesnt work in this movie. First off, there are some continuity holes or just logic problems with the story. One of the biggest things from this series of films is just how much punishment John McClane can take and still keep kicking butt. The previous films went a little over the top, the 4th film kind of pushed how much John could do. This movie was downright laughable at points. The big crashes and explosions that John just walks away from are almost God-like. He crashes and flips a truck on a big highway, which takes out several terrorists, and he walks away WITHOUT A SINGLE SCRATCH. And I won't spoil anything about the climax, but no frickin way.
Also, on a minor note, there is a large sequence in the Chernobyl fallout zone in Russia, litterally in the middle of it. The villains have to wear these big radiation suits to live, but John and Jack are fine without them. Then the villains can take off their suits and be just fine. Um, what? I don't no much about nuclear fallout zones, but this movie made it very confusing.
Lastly, and unfortunately, this is kind of a big one, Jack is a jerk in the first half of the film with no logical reason. When John shows up, Jack treats him like he is the horrible annoyance of a human being and shows him no respect. This comes off as very frustrating and annoying, in the extent that Jack goes. His reasoning? because apparently John is a horrible father who is never there for him. Now yes, in the first film, John talks about how his job as a cop in New York kept him busy and his wife and kids had to move away, but Jack was a tiny kid during that movie. I know a child's upbringing can have its effects, but to this extent? Jack treats John like he came home just to beat him every day of his life and never be there for any other purpose. How about all the times John has saved the world, does that mean NOTHING? Jack just comes off very frustrating. Fortunately he turns it around before the climax, but he is a little tough to deal with early on.
Ok, I've said enough bad things, let's talk about what really works in the movie. The action is very in your face, explosive and awesome. This is a tradition in Die Hard movies, and this movie doesn't dissapoint. There are plenty of shootouts and car chases for action fans to love. These are the highlights of the movie, especially the climax. It is intense and satisfying, thanks to John McClane.
That is the other highlight of the film, Bruce Willis. I talked about him in my Looper review, and he is still awesome. Willis is even better as John than in Looper, because Willis is limited in that. Willis as McClane is the role that shot him to super-stardom, and he soaks it up in A Good Day to Die Hard. Now granted, Willis isn't AS funny as he is in the previous films, probly because this is the 5th movie, but John is still very funny and very badass. Bruce Willis could never screw up this role, Bruce Willis IS John McClane practically.
The story, is acceptable. It won't win any awards by far, but it is fun and basic, which is what a Die Hard movie needs. There aren't any real hiccups other than what I previously mentioned, and the cameo by Lucy McClane is well done. Now a small gripe is the villain. The last movie had a great villain, with an awesome and modern plan, which was actually quite intimidating and had a great actor behind him. And Hans Gruber from the original film is one of the most iconic and frickin amazing action movie villains in history. A Good Day to Die Hard, instead, tries a twist villain reveal. It might shock people, but I called it. It is a little dissapointing because the Die Hard films always took their time to develop and build up their big baddie throughout the whole film to deliver a great character. The villain in this movie doesnt show up till right before the climax. Now granted, he is an ok villain, I have no real complaints with him, but Die Hard movies have had great villains, so this guy was kind of a let down.
I know I've said alot about the negatives and not as much about the positives, but i did enjoy this movie. It was a pretty good action film and I'd say definately worth a viewing. It is a fun action movie with the great Bruce Willis. It is a shame the flaws I mentioned are present here, but they don't ruin the movie. If you are a fan of Bruce Willis, the Die Hard franchise or action movies, give a look. If you want a deep and complex movie, this might not be for you. YAY EXPLOSIONS!
I give A Good Day to Die Hard an explosive 3 out of 5.