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Movie Review: A Good Day to Die Hard

By Edited Mar 20, 2015 1 2

Certificate 12A, 97 minutes

Director: John Moore

Stars: Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney, Sebastian Koch

A Good Day to Die Hard, or Die Hard 5, is the latest film in the Die Hard series starring Bruce Willis as New York cop John McClane. It's 25 years since the first Die Hard film appeared, in which time Bruce Willis has lost most of his hair.

Once again, as in Live Free or Die Hard (Die Hard 4.0), McClane winds up helping one of his now adult children. This time it's his son Jack (Jai Courtney, Divergent, Insurgent I, Frankenstein), rather than his daughter Lucy (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) who does appear a couple of times briefly. Jack is in Moscow and works for the CIA and is involved with political prisoner and billionaire Yuri Komarov (Sebastian Koch) and, presumably because he's his son rather than his daughter, is a bit more proactive than Lucy.

A Good Day to Die Hard
A Good Day to Die Hard, as well as being set in Russia, was actually shot in Hungary. It tends to be a bit worrying when a film is shot in Eastern Europe, because this is so often done to save money rather than for any good plot reason. The weapons grade radioactive materials mentioned do give at least some validity to having set it in Russia due to their origin, but the budget was still less than 2007's Live Free or Die Hard even without adjusting for inflation and this does show somewhat.

There are lots of explosions, a fairly decent car chase, lots of guns and shooting (how what looks like a Russian Hind helicopter can shoot up a building in the centre of Moscow without causing more of a stir is a bit unrealistic) and yet another destroyed aircraft - destroyed aircraft being a fairly common theme in the Die Hard series.

There just didn't seem to be much fluidity to A Good Day to Die Hard; first we're here and stuff happens, then we're here and another bunch of stuff happens, then we move to yet another location and yet another bunch of stuff happens. The film certainly isn't plot driven which is admittedly hardly uncommon in action films, but it does seem to have much less of a plot than previous examples. Overall, it seems more like a bunch of separate scenes loosely tied together.

The film also felt like it should be longer and, in some places, like two different films connected together. The villains are not even stereotypes they are so undeveloped - there's no-one like Alan Rickman's show stealing Hans Gruber from the first Die Hard. Some of the villains, such as Alik (Radivoje Bukvic) and Chagarin (Sergei Kolesnikov) could have been better, but they weren't given enough screen time - it's hard for a villain to come over as being truly villainous in what seemed like only a few minutes. A Good Day to Die Hard contains no surprises and, whilst okay, is probably the worst in the series to date and a bit of a disappointment.


A Good Day to Die Hard egdcltd 2014-04-04 3.0 0 5


Mar 17, 2013 1:14am
Loved the movie :) x
Mar 17, 2013 3:06am
I just felt it wasn't as much fun as I expected. I re-watched Die Hard 4.0 just before and enjoyed that more.
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