Die Hard 5: A not-so-good day to die
Making a sequel is a difficult job considering how the first movie sets up expectations and sequels invariably let fans down - unless of course something terribly redefining is introduced.
Now talk about making the fourth sequel to a movie and you can imagine the unforgiving nature of the task; you probably have done all you could with the storyline in the first four parts and shown all the action sequences there are to be shown and made them look real at the same time.
What else can you do to keep the movie from being dull?
Each one of the movies also establishes some quirks of the lead character that have to be kept in mind when making the next film in the series. And all of these are where A Good Day to Die Hard fails!
It is hard to blame the director alone for this, though John Moore’s resume is nothing to write home about considering the debacle of Max Payne. This one just adds to his seemingly ever-growing list of failures as a director.
Although the movie had come out sometime in February, but because of a demanding schedule (masters students have too many things on their plate if you were wondering), I got to see the movie yesterday after my final exams had ended and spring break had started.
Let's just say that I was hugely disappointed.
Don't get me wrong; you will find action in the movie, no matter how badly sequenced, shot and directed, and if that is your definition of a good movie, go for it!
Just a warning here, there are some spoilers ahead!
There is a change in scenery with the storyline set in Russia this time round. John McClane (Bruce Willis) is reunited in Moscow with his son, Jack (Jai Courtney), who is an undercover CIA agent and has an embittered relationship with his father whom he refuses to call dad, sticking with the first name instead.
Some of the action sequences are so unrealistic that it might put Bollywood to shame.
John McClane is supposed to be a real life hero unlike a sci-fi/comic book one, but that is something lost on the filmmakers.
In a car pursuit sequence early on, John’s truck barely misses an RPG fired at it, rolls over a couple of times with him being thrown out after which he runs onto the middle of the road with traffic all around at a high speed, gets hit by a car and still manages to slap the flabbergasted driver and take off in the car without a blink of an eye.
In another sequence, John and Jack jump through a window, fall God knows how many storeys below, missing the bullets that a helicopter is shooting at them, stand up and walk away at leisure from the crime scene.
There seems to be no place for logic in the story, with everything scheduled to happen in a time span of less than 24 hours.
As Willis says in the movie, “this is nuts!”
The plot is weak and hackneyed. Gone are the days when enriched ‘weapon grade uranium’ captured the public fancy. That was so 90s or probably even early 2000.
In 2013, we are more fascinated by reapers (drones) and threats of cyber-attacks not nuclear arsenal.
Unlike other movies in the series, this one also lacks a memorable villainous character. It seems the writer followed the dialogue he wrote for Jack in one of the scenes,
“Not really. I kinda thought we would just wing it, you know. Running in, guns blazing! Make it up as we go.”
In short, the movie suffers from an illogically weak (almost to the point where it feels as if filmmakers knew that putting Bruce Willis in the movie was enough with no need for a plot) script, poor directions and an over-reliance on digital effects.
From the look of things at the end, this might be a transition movie with John McClane handing off the Die Hard legacy to his son.
I hope the series ends here for I want to remember Die Hard for what it was when it started and not as how Moore and Wood lay it out here.
Read more by Dr Amyn here or follow him on Twitter @amynmalik
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