This is hard. This is really hard for me. I really wanted to love this 5th Die Hard film like I love all the others. I tried real hard to enjoy it for what it was. Real hard. Harder than a rock. Harder than, say, Die Hard 2: Die Harder. But no matter what it did, I could not get hard for this movie. Penis joke.
Everyone’s favorite cop is at it again, this time in Russia with his estranged son. Why in Russia? First and foremost, it’s because American movies have been doing really well in Russia recently. Even last years sci fi loser John Carter was a hit over there. So now a lot of hollywood films are aiming to nab that audience by making that their setting. Remember Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol? It’s about the money.
But the setting isn’t what made me so unhappy with A Good Day to Die Hard. It was actually quite difficult to decipher why I couldn’t get into it. Maybe because the first thirty minutes are spent making it look like Johns’ son is a criminal when we know from the trailers that he’s a undercover CIA operative. Maybe because the following car chase was so long and dull that I stepped out to pee and returned without missing any story beat at all. It could be because the “funniest” thing John McClane says in the movie is “I’m on vacation! I’m supposed to be on vacation!”
I was very intrigued to see John teamed with his son, who is just as competent of a killer as his father. And of course, we know that the typical story arc would be played out; they fight a bunch at first, then they open up a bit and get along, while still playfully jabbing one another (penis joke?) But did they have to go about it so…lifelessly? I could see them trying to squeeze some real emotions into this, the heart of the film. But they failed.
The villians sucked. All the villains sucked. The greatest thing about the original Die Hard is that it’s one ordinary man up against insurmountable odds. Now we have two John McClanes, and none of the bad guys feel like a real threat. Of course these tools aren’t gonna stop our heroes. Inspector Jacques Clouseau could take these guys out!
I don’t know. It’s hard to put into words. Maybe the professional critics can say it better. I haven’t looked at the reviews yet. I’m gonna take a quick look and see if it helps define what I’m feeling. In the meantime, please enjoy these pieces of motivational and fine art. I’ll be right back.
Wow. Most seem to agree that this Die Hard sucked hard. Chris Hewitt of Saint Paul Pioneer press said, “The dialogue in Good Day is painfully awkward, and before you say, ‘No one goes to a Die Hard movie for the dialogue,’ let me say that I agree. But you have not heard how bad this dialogue is.”
Good ol’ Roger Ebert stated, “McClane has been stripped of any real traces of an actual three-dimensional character. We feel as if we’re watching Bruce Willis in a Bruce Willis movie in which Bruce Willis can survive anything while taking out the villains, video-game style.”
Actually, Eberts’ entire review is so beautifully written, you should just go read his. It’s right on the money.
I get pretty excited about certain films. The hype machine works on me. When they occasionally disappoint, I get depressed and don’t feel like writing about them. That’s why you won’t find a review of Prometheus or Skyfall on here. I guess I hold the Die Hard franchise to a higher level than most action films, since I’ve totally digged all the others. Maybe by massively lowering your expectations you will then find joy in A Good Day to Die Hard. I hope you like it. Personally, it just rubbed me the wrong way.
Definitely penis joke.