“A Good Day to Die Hard” – Review by Mike Holtz of We Watched A Movie

A Good Day to Die Hard

Directed By: John Moore (Max Payne, Behind Enemy Lines)

Starring: Bruce Willis (Die Hard), Jai Courtney (Spartacus: War of the Damned)

John McClane is back in another explosive situation he has to shoot himself out of. Yippee ki yay. Alright, now that’s out of the way…. This time John is in Moscow on Vacation (Don’t worry hell remind you roughly five million times throughout the movie HE IS ON VACATION!) John gets to Moscow, things start exploding, people start shooting. John and his son Jack have to kill a bunch of bad guys and save the day. Sounds like “A Good Plot for a Die Hard.” Oh, if only.

It’s an understatement to say that a large chunk of personal excitement died hard for this flick after it was announced the Director of Max Payne would helm this movie. But c’mon it’s Die Hard and it was rated R again! How could this go wrong? Did I mention the guy that Directed Max Payne was Directing this movie? Okay, maybe I’m being a little bit harsh here considering this movie has some of the most well Directed action sequences in all of the series. That’s right. There are three blow out, all-out, let’s just see how much stuff we can blow-up action scenes in this movie that will have you shoving popcorn into your mouth like you did during that little Joss Whedon flick that came out this past summer.

Sadly though, even for a series all about action…..that still doesn’t cut it kids. Mere conversations are shot with the same intensity as buildings exploding with constant shaky cam and bad editing. If the lazy script writing doesn’t get you the over caffeinated camera work will.

A Good Day to Die Hard also chooses to go the route of several villains. None of which are the least bit interesting and all of which hog way too much screen time from Mr. McClane. They all have over-reaching diabolical plans that are both overdone and under-thought at the same time featuring lazy twists that end with some of the bad guys taking each-other out  before McClane can even get there to wise crack and shoot them down. We didn’t come here to watch these cardboard cut-out Russian bad dudes run their cute little games on each-other did we? This is the main problem with A Good Day to Die Hard. It took the best parts of Die Hard (McClane) and put them in the background.  Will hangs on to bits and pieces of the McClane we know and love but at times seems as though he is having just as hard a time getting into the script as the rest of us.

The story between John and his son Jack may feel forced and rushed but it does have some nice moments and the two play off one another decent enough. The best scenes coming from the two of them on foot with guns in hand. I’m still not sold on the fact that Jai Courtney could carry this franchise on his own, if that is in fact what they are hinting at with this whole thing. But to tell the truth, this film didn’t really seem like a Die Hard film anyways.

There were, however glimpses of the old Die Hard films we know and love. A few good laughs, a yippee ki yay and some really great action scenes bring back enough nostalgia by the films end to make this mess of a movie still enjoyable.

The same way I wonder how John McClane makes it through all the crazy situations he lives through, I wonder how a movie with this many flaws gets a 6.5/10 from me.  I guess it’s true. It’s hard to kill a McClane.

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