Review: A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD (2013) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Review: A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD (2013)

Sorry, son. This DIE HARD movie belongs to me and you're belong to Jack shit.
The marketing people has done a bang-up job selling A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD that seems promising enough, but this fifth installment is surprisingly a huge letdown.

There's barely a good day to be seen in this hugely disappointing A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD (that's DIE HARD 5 for you, in case you have lose count).

WHAT IS IT ALL ABOUT?

Former NYPD cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) travels to Moscow, Russia to help his estranged son, Jack (Jai Courtney), who has been arrested after murdering Anton (Roman Luknar), a subordinate working for Chagarin, a high-ranking but corrupt Russian official (Sergei Kolesnikov). Apparently Chagarin is planning to silence the political prisoner Yuri Komarov (Sebastian Koch) without a fair trial and desperately wanted to get the mysterious "file" which is believed to be hidden somewhere under Yuri's possession.

During a court trial, a group of Chagarin's heavily-armed henchmen led by Alik (Radivoje Bukvic) blows up the courthouse in attempt to kill both Jack and Yuri. But Jack manages to break free with Yuri, and hijacks a van. John, who happens to be near the courthouse at the time of trial, confronts Jack. Jack isn't pleased to see him and their confrontation begins to heat up considerably. But both of them end up saving each other while they are being pursued by Alik and his gang.

After John, Jack and Yuri manage to outrun the bad guys, John finally discovers that Jack is actually an undercover CIA agent working on a high-profile case to retrieve the mysterious "file". But nothing is exactly what it seems when the three of them meet up with Yuri's only daughter, Irina (Yuliya Snigir). The supposedly tearful reunion between Yuri and Irina, whom they never met for five years since his imprisonment, turns out to be a decoy after all.

THE GOOD STUFF
 
Clocking at 97 minutes, A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD is no doubt the shortest DIE HARD movie ever made (all previous four movies run at about 130 minutes each). The movie is fast and furious, with lots of action and enough R-rated bloody mayhem to satisfy the undemanding action fans.

MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT(S)

The climactic finale involving the helicopter and a dangling truck and the slow-motion helicopter crashing scene (both which are heavily advertised in various promotional trailers).


MOST MEMORABLE QUOTE

For a DIE HARD movie, none of John McClane's trademark quips really stick into my mind this time around. All I can remember is how annoyed I am listening to him keep repeating "I'm on vacation!"

THE BAD STUFF 

A LOT! Director John Moore (MAX PAYNE) is a total Hollywood hack! He seriously needs to get a few slaps in the face for ruining such an iconic franchise like DIE HARD movie. Among his biggest mistake is his decision to shoot the picture with lots of handheld camera because he wants to "mimic the surprise and confusion of John McClane being stranded in a strange world". Yeah, right. His frenetic direction is so chaotically staged that you can imagine most of the huge action sequences (especially the would-be memorable car chase in the highway traffic) are nothing but a bloated mess. Then there's too many desaturated colors as well as overuse of blue filters. Marco Beltrami's overly-amplified music score is instantly forgettable, and just about everything in A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD is cranked up to the eleven as noisy as possible. It's like watching a DIE HARD movie on steroids!

As John McClane, Bruce Willis seems to be looking very tired this time around. He doesn't really shows as much enthusiasm as he used to be in the previous four movies. Most of his trademark wisecracks are either too forceful (even for his iconic "Yippee-kai-yay, motherf**ker" catchphrase) or too repetitive (the aforementioned "I'm on vacation!" and "Jesus Christ"). For Jai Courtney, he may have the physicality to play an action role but he lacks the charisma to make his Jack McClane character worthwhile. As for the villains, the less said the better because they are simply forgettable and even plain embarrassing (especially the one involving Alik's confession to the captured John and Jack about how he used to be an excellent tap dancer).

FINAL WORDS

 Now, how do you say "Yippee-kai-yay" in Russian?

It's hard to imagine that A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD could end up this bad that makes a mediocre effort of DIE HARD 4.0 looks like an action-movie classic. Easily the weakest entry yet, I can only hope that the upcoming the yet-to-be-titled DIE HARD 6 (in which Bruce Willis himself claimed to be his last before he retired his iconic character for good) can be improved considerably... with a different and more qualified director who understands what makes a DIE HARD movie such a successful franchise at the first place.

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