A Good Day to Die Hard (2013)
A highly forgettable sequel that wasn’t even needed in the first place, A Good Day to Die Hard is a supreme example of how to make a really bad film & still have the balls to sell it. With its unforgiving combination of terrible direction, equally horrible screenplay & hollow performances from its entire cast, A Good Day to Die Hard effortlessly goes down as not just the weakest chapter of the tired & prolonged journey of once iconic John McClane but also as one of the worst films of this or any other time. An insult to human intelligence is something that Hollywood has bestowed upon us from time to time, and A Good Day to Die Hard is a simple Thank You note from them to the sleazy turn-off-your-brain popcorn film fanatics who are responsible for propelling so many stupid films into rousing box-office successes.
Even though I am very obliged to make an exception here & reveal the entire absurdity of this film’s plot, I’ll still try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. John McClane & his son aren’t on speaking terms for several years now but when he learns that his offspring is in trouble, he takes the first plane to Moscow to help him. As soon as he lands on this foreign soil, a series of explosions & chases are set in motion to create a perfect environment for the father-son reunion. And if that wasn’t sweet enough, John gets his facepalm moment when he finds out that his son is an undercover CIA operative who thinks of himself as nothing short of Jason Bourne. Rest of the film, in best interests, is about a father & a son trying to patch things up amidst all the clueless villains & stupid plot twists, and eventually decide to team up & massacre the underworld forces which have been continuously denying them a moment of privacy.
From the director of Behind Enemy Lines, A Good Day to Die Hard is something John Moore wanted to make just to piss off the long list of critics who have panned all his films to date & succeeds immensely. And if you think that direction is this film’s worst part, then you’re in for a surprise because it’s the screenplay which steals that glorious credit. With its nonsensical plot, flat dialogues, undeveloped villains & repetitive action on paper, the film feels like a crossbreed of a terrible drama & a poorly adapted action-laden video game. Cinematography presents a degraded look of Russia as if ever since the end of Cold War, the country stopped developing. And the handheld shots, unusual zooms & slow-motions only made it worse. Editing divides the film into a continuous loop of loud, bombastic action & silly conversations throughout its 97 minutes of runtime. Visual effects are not up to the mark, sound effects are pain in the ear, and music, if there was any, was lost in the deafening noise this film kept making from start to finish.
Coming to the performances, there is not a single character in this film worth liking. Bruce Willis reprises his role of John McClane & is given just one catchphrase to recite throughout the movie, “I’m on vacation”. Willis has impressed with this character in the past with his badass attitude & sheriff wit, but it’s clearly visible that he is getting too old for this job & needs to retire along with the franchise. Jai Courtney stars as the spoiled brat of John McClane who is also an undercover CIA operative (they’re always hiring if you’re interested) and the scenes between John & Jack in this film are so affecting that every father & son might put aside their disagreements for a while so that they can make fun of this film, together. Next up are the bad guys. For most of the film, we simply have no idea who the main villain is. And when he finally surfaces, it’s already too late & we don’t care anymore. Clearly, the characters are poorly written because of which the actors didn’t have anything to build their performances on & viewers didn’t have anyone to invest their emotional faith in.
Except for the first half-hour which includes an overlong but spectacular chase sequence that sums up almost everything that exists in the trailers, this movie falls flat on its wheels after that. It has no respect for Russian culture, history or geography nor any for science considering the awful depiction of how nuclear radiation works in the film’s final act, which is set in Chernobyl by the way. Thanks to its dreadful plot, dull characters, terrible screenplay, a complete lack of emotional attachment or even common sense, including one of the most pathetic endings you can imagine, this installment never really feels like a Die Hard sequel as there just isn’t any build up, tension, intensity or even resemblance to any of its predecessors, except for Bruce Willis of course. On an overall scale, A Good Day to Die Hard is a boring, uninteresting & useless fifth chapter in the long running franchise that seriously needs to be put out of its misery and qualifies as that insanely horrible film which some of us unluckiest sons of bitches had to sit through so that you won’t have to. Either skip it or suffer. You have been warned.