Cinema Monolith

Reviews of movies from my giant DVD tower, and more.

A Good Day to Die Hard

A Good Day to Die HardCinema Monolith: 2/10 Film Reel
IMDb: 5.3/10
The Arizona Republic: **½ out of 5

Released on February 14, 2013
Rated R
97 minutes

Directed by John Moore

Written by Skip Woods

Cast: Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney, Sebastian Koch, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Yuliya Snigir, Cole Hauser, Amaury Nolasco, Sergei Kolesnikov, Roman Luknár, Megalyn Echikunwoke

Hey, how about calling it A Good Day to Obliterate Everything, which would make a hell of a lot more sense. Or how about I just write one short sentence that will epitomize the ridiculous levels this franchise has reached: John McClane clings to a helicopter spinning out-of-control inside Chernobyl. Are you kidding me? Good lord, what a sorry excuse for a movie this was, and how sorry I am for wasting my valuable time with it. Fifteen minutes in, I was good and ready to call it a day; this was not the John McClane I knew from the first Die Hard film, nor was this the direction of John McTiernan or the writing skills of Steve de Souza and Jeb Stuart, either.

Instead, what we had here was an overblown 97 minutes of tedium, laughable coincidences, impossible suspension of disbelief, antagonists fresh out of villain school, tender moments at inopportune times, and a complete and inexcusable lack of common sense on the part of both the filmmakers and the film’s characters. Need to somehow survive a hail of machine gun fire? Sure! Wanna smash along a busy freeway and kill hundreds of unfortunate motorists in your way? Go for it! Need guns where you’re going? Don’t worry, they’ll be in that car you’re stealing! Ugh!

I seriously have no patience for movies like this, where intelligent storytelling—or any type of storytelling—takes a back seat to poorly-conceived explosive mayhem, which in turn seems to exist merely for the sake of a blinding visual. Bruce Willis has become comfortable in these action hero roles, but perhaps here he’s become too comfortable, which may actually be the fault of director John Moore, who hasn’t become comfortable with anything. Not once can I remember his camera just holding the hell still, and though he can stage a CG helicopter crash with some pizzazz, the rest of his work needs…well, work. And lots of it.

The story had something to do with McClane traveling to Russia to retrieve his wayward son, where they both bond (Awww, how…dumb!) and become involved with terrorists looking for a file of some sort, or uranium, or more things to blow up. What the director and writer seemed to forget was that John McClane was a cop from New York, not a freaking indestructible killing machine from the pages of Marvel Comics. Or maybe I missed an important plot point when I chose to bypass Live Free or Die Hard. In any case, please do yourself a favor and just watch the original Die Hard instead. I don’t care if you just watched it an hour ago…watch it again. It’ll be infinitely more entertaining than sitting through this mess.  (2/10)

A Good Day to Die Hard

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