A Good Day To Die Hard
Cast: John McClane (Bruce Willis), Jack McClane (Jai Courtney), Yuri Komarov (Sebastian Koch), Irina Komarov (Yulia Snigir), Alik (Rasha Bukvic), Collins (Cole Hauser), Murphy (Amaury Nolasco), Chagarin (Sergey Kolesnikov)
Director: John Moore
Theatrical release: 02/14/2013
DVD Date: 06/04/2013
Running Time: 98 minutes
Note(s): Original screen play by Skip Woods.
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Review: Put very simply, A Good Day To Die Hard, the fifth film in this franchise, shouldn't have been made … at least by this director from this screenplay. After the quite good fourth in the series (which I saw, but did not review here), I was looking forward to seeing this one, especially since there was the added dynamic of a McClane son involved. But so much attention — with (requisite) smirky looks and snarky comments between father and son, most if not all of which fall flat — was paid on the relationship, or lack thereof, that it took away from the film. Which, to be sure, is kind of hard to do since there really wasn't much of a story otherwise.
A quick recap: Jack McClane (Jai Courtney) is a CIA operative in Russia, who gets himself arrested for attempted murder so that he can help another inmate, Yuri Komarov, one willing to expose the secret behind what "really" happened at Chernobyl, escape. But of course Jack's father, John (Bruce Willis), doesn't know this because he's been estranged from his son for who knows how long. He rushes off to Moscow to do what he can, only to arrive as Komarov's enemies, fearing what he might say during a trial, arrive at the courthouse to kill him, only to make a mess of things (of course) allowing Jack and Yuri to escape … with the help of John, of course. The three eventually make their way to Chernobyl, where the truth is revealed.
If you're a fan of action thrillers, you won't be bored here. Things are smashed, blown up, torn apart, imploded and exploded on a regular basis. There is, if possible, almost too much "action". A little more — OK, a lot more — story would have made a huge difference here. It's John and Jack bickering for two straight hours all the while destroying everything in their path.
So, is A Good Day To Die Hard worth seeing? It depends. Although I think Bruce Willis's performance was subpar here, I put most of the blame on the director (and a little less on the screenwriter) for (a) not understanding the character of John McClane and (b) not giving the actor a "Die Hard"-worthy part to play. Still, if you're a fan of Bruce Willis, as I am, you're going to have to see this film just because he's in it. The real surprise, however, is Jai Courtney as the younger McClane. If the franchise were to continue with him taking over, I think that would be the best thing to come of this film. Otherwise, it's a completely forgettable mess.
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