A Good Day To Die Hard(2013)
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Among the rare positive reviews, Robbie Collin for The Daily Telegraph remarked that "Yet even though the ride finally stalls, A Good Day To Die Hard has been thrustingly outrageous enough in its earlier moments to coast to the finish line on momentum." Daniel M. Kimmel, writing for the New England Movies Weekly, found the film to be better than Live Free or Die Hard and states that the car chase scene "is well worth the price of admission." With a 3.5/5 rating, Kimmel summed up his review saying, "it's probably a good day to end the series at last, but it's an action-packed and entertaining finale." Rick Groen of The Globe and Mail criticized the action scenes as being "messy", but concluded his review saying that the film "continues the franchise without undue embarrassment." Peter Howell of The Toronto Star remarked that Willis and Courtney made a strong estranged family duo and that the film had a nice drinking game routine going for it with how many times McClane exclaims "I'm on vacation!" during the running time.
That's right: Jack McClane is working for the CIA. Somehow Pops, who's been pretty good at solving complex mysteries since the days when he was waiting for important faxes at Dulles airport, had no idea the kid was a top-level undercover spy.
Like the father-son relationship, A Good Day to Die Hard fails at just about everything it tries to do. The action scenes have a poor sense of geography and lack tension, although Moore does know how to make stuff blow up real good. The pacing is atrocious, the digital effects look cheap, and the movie doesn't even have a clear villain with understandable motives. It may be difficult to nail the essence of a Die Hard movie, but how can you screw up the bad guy? Alik has some quirks in search of a character, and some twists down the road are even more maddening since Woods clearly has no idea what the fuck he's doing. I expect no more from the writer of X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Hitman. This is a movie where Jack needs a gun at one point, doesn't have a gun anywhere near him, and then basically pulls a gun out of the ether because that's what the story demands. If someone can tell me where that gun came from, it wouldn't matter because then Moore fucked up by not showing us where it was in relation to Jack.
by Walter Chaw A Good Day to Die Hard (hereafter Die Hard 5), or whatever the fuck it's called, teaches that the only thing anyone seems to know about what's left of theSoviet Union is that something happened at someplace called"Chernobyl," and whatever that something was, it had to dowith radioactivity. (Or Transformers.) It's a film that believes there's a magicspray that neutralizes radiation; that bringing up father issues is the samething as depth; and that commissioning a screenplay from Skip Woods (theasshole behind Hitman, Swordfish, X-Men Origins: Wolverine,and The A-Team) is, hey, a great idea! Dreadful doesn't begin todescribe it--and consider that I've liked, really liked, three of the previousfour movies in this franchise, to the extent that the direction the last filmtook in suggesting the John McClane character is a Terminator felt to mepleasantly self-knowing, even brilliant. I wanted, desperately, to like this thing, but by the tenth or eleventh time McClane shook his grizzled head andmuttered "Jesus" gravely under his breath (that is, around thirty minutes in), I checked out for good. Die Hard 5 is also the kind ofmovie that has its foreign bad guys speak English to one another even whenthey're alone; it features an extended, much-hyped car chase to nowhere with nosense of space or innovation before finally just settling on a series ofexplosions as lazy and disinterested as the way Bruce Willis fires off amillion rounds nowadays. Apathetic isn't the same thing as cool, and Willis,let's face it, ain't trying anymore.
This one is about how supercop McClane's estranged sonJack (Jai "love child of Sam Worthington and Tom Hardy" Courtney) isa CIA operative trying to protect Russian something Komarov (Sebastian Koch)from Russian Piers Morgan Chagarin (Sergei Kolesnikov), because...I don't know.John, thinking Jack is a screw-up about to be imprisoned for life in Moscowinstead of the more non-descript Felix Leiter he is, is in Moscow to watchJack's trial (which he doesn't end up doing, for whatever reason)when lots of explosions happen during the world's worst-conceived jailbreak (abad plan is one in which the object you're trying to save is at the epicentreof the boom-boom), leading to a car chase and witty banter along the lines of"You were never there for me JOHN" and "What's this John stuff?Call me DAD!" There's also tits-and-ass in the form of femme fataleIrina (impossibly beautiful--and good at chess, IMDb tells me--Yuliya Snigir),who has the thankless duty of delivering Skip Woods's idea of twisty-turnygoodness not once, not twice, but thrice. And, just for the record, that thingthey do with the helicopter and the bad guy at the end was done better inWillis's own The Last Boy Scout.
There is little good to say about A Good Day to Die Hard. The only thing that made me sit up and take notice was the inclusion of some faux BBC new reports featuring real life news presenter Sophie Raworth. Remember in the nineties how it was always CNN or Sky News that were used in this way? However, overall the movie had nothing new to offer and even its R rating was disappointing. A few profanities and some minor bullet hits cannot recreate the hard edge and elegance of the original movie. Even Bruce Willis' signature kiss off line "Yippee-ki-yay, Motherfucker" is laboured. In all honesty Olympus Has Fallen is closer to the 1988 Die Hard than this shallow cinematic outing. I think it's time for this particular Cowboy to hang up his spurs and retire. Until the inevitable reboot.
Sometimes, movie franchises run longer than they should. Critics and American moviegoers have sent Warner Bros. the message that The Hangover Part III was at least one too many (though I disagree). You can make a strong case that the well of creativity has run dry on the Paranormal Activity and Pirates of the Caribbean series.Creators often know when to say "We've had a good run" or "I'm getting too old for this [stuff]." There is always the slight chance, however, of renewed interest, like the atypical trajectories of Fast and Furious and Mission: Impossible. But the odds are greater for the embarrassment and brand diminishment experienced when a filmmaker overestimates the demand for a follow-up. The makers of Scary Movie 5 and The Last Exorcism Part II have likely given the subject some thought in the wake of their spring disappointments. You'd think that Bruce Willis would too after A Good Day to Die Hard easily became the lowest-grossing entry in his best-known series, but such thoughts fail to consider the film's success in international markets.The original Die Hard, released in the summer of 1988, made Willis an instant movie star. The actor was about to begin his final season on ABC's "Moonlighting" and film was clearly in his immediate future, from voiceover work in the blockbuster comedy Look Who's Talking to the quickly-produced Die Hard 2. Willis struggled some in the wake of that hit sequel, but rebounded in the middle of the 1990s largely on the basis of Pulp Fiction and another profitable sequel called Die Hard: With a Vengeance. By the late '90s, Willis was one of the biggest stars in the business, enjoying back-to-back summer behemoths in the dissimilar Armageddon and The Sixth Sense. After a trio of strong-performing vehicles in 2000, Willis' career began to stall again, not that unusual for a two-time Razzie winner approaching 50.At 52, Willis experienced his biggest live-action hit since the 1990s in Live Free or Die Hard. It was an unexpected revival of Willis' most beloved character and a surprisingly good one at that, despite concerns it would be diluted by a PG-13 rating. Six years later, Willis reprises John McClane once more. A Good Day lacks the novelty of Willis returning to one of cinema's great iconic action heroes after a long time away. It returns the series to R ratings but its Valentine's Day opening suggested it couldn't compete in the summer season where all four previous installments had thrived. The film was pulverized by critics and though popular established franchises tend to be somewhat critic-proof, the drubbing was followed by a pitiful, front-loaded domestic gross of $67.3 million. That was well under the film's $92 M production budget and less than half as much as every other installment's haul adjusted for ticket inflation.And yet, somehow, Fox has already supposedly gotten the ball rolling on a sixth Die Hard movie, which Willis has expressed interest in making. That the series could live on after the poor showing of movie five is entirely attributable to foreign audiences. They contributed $237 M in grosses, barely down from the past two outings and more than three-fourths of the film's formidable $305 M worldwide haul. The budget may have to creep down some more and an international setting seems almost mandatory, but all-American hero John McClane can thank Russia, Australia, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, South Korea, Brazil, Mexico, and, most of all, Japan for the opportunity to die hard one more time.Setting aside financial viability, one wonders if there are enough creative juices to fuel a worthwhile outing, as A Good Day already appears to running on fumes in that department. In the middle of target practice at the NYPD, John McClane gets a file updating him on the whereabouts of Jack (Jai Courtney), his adult son he hasn't seen or spoken to in a few years. With that, the fearless detective is off to Moscow, where Jack awaits trial alongside a high-profile political prisoner. An explosion outside the courthouse enables the two inmates to escape and we are thrown into action sequences with almost no understanding of what's going on. First comes a long, massively complex car chase around the capital city. A chore to watch, one can only imagine the logistical nightmare it must have been to stage and shoot.Gradually, some plot emerges to reveal that Jack is a CIA agent assigned to protect that whistleblower, Yuri Komarov (Sebastian Koch). Naturally, with John McClane around, that is no easy task, after Komarov's only daughter (Yuliya Snigir) curiously betrays him for a multi-million dollar payout. The whole thing leads to Chernobyl, where Komarov's beef with the high-ranking official determined to bring him down began around the time of the infamous nuclear power plant meltdown.Good Day is spectacularly dull and tough to follow. As many lines are spoken in Russian as in English. Whatever the language, though, the dialogue in the screenplay by Skip Woods (Swordfish, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, The A-Team) is severely lacking the sharp banter that has defined McClane's memorable past showdowns. In its place is a plodding thread attempting to patch up the damaged relationship between father and son.It almost feels like this isn't a Die Hard movie at all. Sure, you've got explosions, shoot-outs, multi-story falls, shattered glass, and the obligatory "Yippee-ki-yay" (which this time is both forced and joyless), but the legend of John McClane disappears in this uninvolving espionage story. The closest we come to recalling the love-to-hate villainy of Hans Gruber and his brother Simon is a scene in which a carrot-chomping, American-hating baddie (Rasha Bukvic) reminds the McClanes that Reagan is dead and proves to them he could have been a dancer.While this fifth film is unusually brief, clocking in about a half-hour shorter than each of its predecessors, it is also easily the most boring, colorless and uneventful episode. Until now, I had considered Die Hard 2, with its dark, snowy airport action, the weak link in the series and the only one I've got no urge to revisit. A Good Day has far less going on for it and feels like little more than a big paycheck for Willis, who doesn't even earn it with the age-defying stunts and heroics you expect. Instead of those, he spends more time asking dumb questions and lecturing his stubborn son on respect.In terms of personnel (which hasn't been a priority for this series since Die Hard 2), Willis is nearly the only returning cast or crew member. Mary Elizabeth Winstead returns for two airport scenes and a shoehorned telephone call as McClane's daughter Lucy.Fox recently brought A Good Day to Die Hard to home video in time for Father's Day in a single-disc DVD and the two-disc Extended Cut Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy combo pack reviewed here. The unrated extended cut runs 3 minutes and 32 seconds longer. The difference is the result of both addition and subtractions. For instance, Lucy for some reason is dropped from this cut, rendering McClane's ride to the airport now an unseen mystery man. 781b155fdc