A Good Day To Die Hard
- Rob Carnevale
- 14 February 2013
Disappointing addition to the Die Hard franchise starring Bruce Willis and Jai Courtney
From wretched title to poorly conceived premise, A Good Day To Die Hard is a dispiriting exercise in franchise flogging which should never have seen the light of day. Based on a script by Skip Woods and directed by John Moore (of Max Payne and The Omen fame), this fifth film transplants the action to Russia and seems to forget everything that made the series so beloved in the first place.
John McClane (Bruce Willis) finds himself in Moscow attempting to track down his estranged son (Jai Courtney) and stumbles into another explosive scenario, this time involving terrorists with a nuclear agenda and corrupt politicians. It's been a long time since any of the Die Hard movies subscribed to the same mix of tense action and engaging character drama that made John McTiernan's first film such a classic back in 1988 but on this occasion, desperation seems to have set in. The story barely hangs together and borrows more from sub-standard James Bond entries and episodes of 24 than anything from its own back catalogue, while the central relationship between Willis and Courtney seems to just go through the motions, complete with truly risible dialogue. The set pieces are as over-the-top as we've come to expect but seldom display much ingenuity, while the main villains fail to appear as anything other than bullet fodder. What's more, the violence has been toned down in favour of a 12A certificate.
Willis does his best to inject some trademark charisma but he's given little to work with, while Courtney has even less material in which to create a memorable character. Overall, this is a bad day that you’d rather forget.
General release from Thu 14 Feb.