Watching A Good Day to Die Hard is surely a good way for people to die of tediousness. Directed by John Moore (Max Payne), this nonsensical fifth installment in the Die Hard action series continues the adventures of John McClane (Bruce Willis) in a highly disappointing outing which undoubtedly is the worst film in the series, and a terribly dull action picture overall.
Considered to be popcorn entertainment, the Die Hard movies have often featured creatively staged action sequences which pack enough excitement to be worth the admission fee for the weekend crowd. And while no one can accuse the storylines in these films of having Shakespearean potential, they are written adequately enough to provide star Bruce Willis with enough wit and cockiness to give his reckless cop character a likeable persona.
A Good Day to Die Hard however is poorly written, with its star Bruce Willis coming off more like a cranky old has-been, rather than the droll renegade detective we have come to love. Things take off with McClane flying to Russia to aid his son Jack (Jai Courtney), who has been arrested for a mysterious assassination attempt. Here he finds his son, and government whistleblower Yuri Komarov (Sebastian Koch), being chased through the roads of Moscow by heavily armed assailants. At this point, John needlessly destroys several bridges, roads, and possibly kills dozens of innocent civilians, all so that he can aid his son. Yes, John McClane is a complete jerk, and his estranged son is not happy to see him.
Soon, John learns that Jack is a CIA spy on an important mission to extract information from Komarov against a powerful and corrupt Russian official named Viktor Chagarin (Sergei Kolesnikov).
Does John tell Jack that he is proud of him for taking on such an impressive profession? No. Like the big jerk that he is, John laughs at Jack for ‘playing a spy’, and admits that he thought Jack was a drug addict. No wonder Jack hates his father. The film briefly focuses on their tense relationship, and they eventually bond over explosive levels of gratuitous violence.
Unfortunately, the action sequences in A Good Day to Die Hard are loud, unexciting, completely unimaginative, poorly edited, and more than a little obnoxious. Sadly, they aren’t as obnoxious as the hero of the film himself.
Published in The Express Tribune, Sunday Magazine, March 31st, 2013.
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