REVIEW: A Good Day To Die Hard

"Fun if you're not looking for a true sequel."

Badass cop John McClane travels to Russia (on vacation) to reconnect with his son, Jack, who is seemingly in trouble with the law.  Much to John's surprise, his son Jack in a CIA agent working to prevent a nuclear catastrophe, which John McClane reluctantly becomes a part of.

When I originally heard they were filming a new DIE HARD I cringed.  Not because of Bruce Willis (admittedly he looks great for his age and can still bring it on screen), but because times have changed and trying to recapture the action dream of yesteryear is like trying to catch a unicorn.  This flick feels more like a buddy cop movie than a DIE HARD entry, and I truly feel that if it had been manufactured as such people would have loved it.  Sadly, this is not the case.  I've heard some people complain about the over-the-top story elements--like the added spy angle, weapon's grade plutonium and nukes.  I don't mind that so much, simply because you have to ask yourself, "where else could they go?"  You start off the series with a kidnapping and some guns, then we upgrade to oozies and a plane, then bombing schools and so on, so again, where else could they go from there?  If only that were the end of the  complaints.  Unfortunately, it's the beginning.

The biggest problem lies with Bruce Willis' John McClane.  Where's the hard edged cop from DIE HARD one and two?  He ain't here that's for sure.  McClane's dialogue is forced and clunky, almost like Willis has forgotten how to emulate McClane in light of all the badass roles he's played over the years.  So if Willis is confused about who McClane is, how are we, the audience, supposed to be anything but confused?  Jai Courtney is a fine addition to the show as McClane's son and handles the action like a champ (not surprising coming from SPARTACUS: BLOOD AND SAND).  His breakout in this flick and JACK REACHER are awesome news and I hope he does well in the future.  It was rumored he'd be taking over this franchise, which would work for me, but who knows.

The villains are another low.  We get a dude actually do a jig in front of the boys in an attempt to strike fear into their hearts.  Sigh.  There's a muscle bound (nameless) Russian thug who looks cool, but is terribly misused.  Now I don't want to spoil anything, but I just don't get the switchover that happens (you'll know it), it begs a great many question to add to your confusion pile.  The action is fantastic though, I'll say that at least.  They blow up and destroy nearly everything in every scene.  The opening car chase was pretty cool, as was the chopper blowing the hell out of the building, but I have to wonder what the bad guys were thinking while piloting the chopper at the end (and don't get me started on Jack's wound that should have taken him of the game completely but is shrugged off as a scratch).

A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD promised much, but delivered very little in the way of "DIE HARD" brand.  And I hate to sound petty, but what happened to all the scenes in the trailer?  The scene where the girl takes off the leather jumpsuit was cut way back, the opening scene with McClane in the taxi went NOTHING like it did in the movie, and there were a couple other mismatched scenes as well.  Why?  I just don't get it.  The R rating also excited me in the beginning, but other than tossing in a couple F-bombs and his infamous catch phrase, I didn't see an R rating, there wasn't even red mist seen when shooting people.  I'm also no Chemistry major, but the two of these guys would be in for some serious repercussions if they swallowed any of that water.  Again, you'll know.  In the end, this is watchable, but nowhere near memorable, which is disappointing.



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