Review: A Good Day to Die Hard
The trouble with the hyper-action genre is that it is becoming virtually impossible to find plausibility while action sequences become more slick and over-the-top. Unremittingly senseless, A Good Day To Die Hard bum rushes its way to inanity before you’ve had a chance to open your popcorn. In a chase scene long enough to feel like a movie within a movie, the ever venerable John McClane (Bruce Willis) rescues his son, Jack (Jai Courtney) and a sprung-from-custody Russian political prisoner, Komarov (Sebastian Koch). They spend the rest of the film nominally pursuing an ultra important file locked away in Chernobyl of all places.
Two scenes vie for most ludicrous:
1) Willis, while car jacking a Russian motorist, wallops him when he resists, and spews out the ultimate American exceptionalist punchline: “Do you think I understand a word you’re saying?”
2) Komarov’s's daughter Irina (a foxy Yuliya Snigir) strips off her protective gas mask at Chernobyl and actually SNIFFS the air to test it for toxicity, like a mother sniffing inside her toddler’s drawers for a sure sign of trouble.
However, unlike previous films in the franchise, Willis here offers few noteworthy one-liners. Oh, when he discovers Jack, his highly estranged son, is a CIA operative, he blurts out something about Jack being involved in some “spy shit.” But mostly John reverts to several repeats of “I’m supposed to be on vacation” as he gets further involved in fighting off a horde of bad guys supported by the Russian head of state. Sadly, the “vacation” line doesn’t have the impact of, say, the “I wasn’t even supposed to be working today” line uttered so effectively in the film Clerks. And if it’s a father-son dramatic theme you want in your action cereal, see the new Dwayne Johnson film instead. At least the acting in that is believable.
Rather, in A Good Day To Die Hard, a tsunami of silly, sedative-inducing action drowns out what little paint-by-number plot and character elements director John Moore has thrown in like so many reluctant croutons in a soup of sludge.
1 1/2 Bruce Willis Says His Family Comes First These Days–It Shows (out of 5)