Monday, February 25, 2013

A Good Day to Die Hard

By Jon Gallagher

A Good Day to Die Hard (20th Century Fox, 2013) Director: John Moore. Cast: Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney, Sebastian Koch, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Yuliya Snigir, and Cole Hauser. Color, 97 minutes.

I’ve always said that if I ever see Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury), I’d run, not walk, the other way very fast. See, she has a habit of having dead bodies turn up in relatively close proximity wherever she goes.

If I ever see John McLane, I’m gonna do the same because something’s bound to blow up any second.

Bruce Willis is back for the fifth, and hopefully last, installment of the Die Hard franchise, this time taking his explosion magnets to Russia and no doubt reigniting the Cold War. This time, McLane goes to Moscow because, for some unknown reason, he decides he wants to patch things up with his estranged son John Jr. (Jai Courtney). Unknown to John, Jack (which is what they call John Jr.) is a CIA agent trying to get a Russian physicist to safety.  John surprises Jack, then lots of things blow up, there’s a car chase or two, then a whole lot more things blow up, and then almost everything in the movie blows up. There are also lots of guns (big guns, little guns, anti-tank guns, etc.) and someone seems like they’re always shooting.

I’m not kidding. Well, at least not very much.

There’s some dialogue sprinkled in at opportune times (probably while they reset the charges on the next set of explosions). Gone are the snappy little one-liners that McLane is so famous for using (he does use his Yippee-Ki-Yay Mister Flubber line), but that’s probably due to one of two things. Either they would have had to hire real writers who could communicate a PLOT to the audience or… No, I think I hit the nail on the head. It was like watching one of Steven Segal’s We-Make-This-Up-As-We-Go movies that usually go straight to DVD.

There are a couple of plot twists, or should I say, attempts, but by the time they get around to doing them, you expect the twist and you’re so confused that you really don’t care. I’m still trying to work past the part where Jack is making his initial escape and nearly runs over his dad.

I would guess that there’s as much Russian dialogue in the movie (with subtitles) as there is English conversation. Because of that, there’s not a lot to report on with how the actors handled their roles. Bruce and Jai would exchange a line or two, then the stuntmen would come in, fall down a lot, then we’d see either a computer-generated explosion or car wreck.

It’s a total waste of time. Even if you’re a big Die Hard fan (which I am; the first movie is in my top five all-time favorites), you’ll be disappointed.  I won’t rent or own it when it comes out (look for it soon), not even to complete my collection. I think maybe we’ll just conveniently forget this one was ever made. I wonder, perhaps, if this was made as a vehicle for Courtney to continue on with the Die Hard/John McLane series.

I hope not. Grade: F.

1 comment:

  1. It's a Die Hard film in name only. That’s about it. Utterly and totally disappointing. Good review.