A Good Day to Die Hard [movie review]

a-good-day-to-die-hard-movie-posterWe finally saw A Good Day to Die Hard and…  I dunno.  It’s not bad.  I can’t honestly say it’s great – but it was fun to watch. It’s not an easy movie to review, but I’ll give it my best shot.  (Pun not intended.)

The movie has a few problems (most are minor, one is serious) – not to mention the fact  that I think Jai Courtney has a crew cut in this movie because Bruce Willis is bald – if Courtney didn’t have a super short hair, how else could we tell they were father and son?  Easy, the movie tells you so about 90 times – I guess the producers think we’re idiots.  Anyway, let’s dive in…

Before we get to spoiler country, I’ll give you my score:  6.5 out of 10.

spoiler alert

As soon as I saw this poster, I got really nervous.


“Yippe ki yay mother Russia?”  I just couldn’t believe it was real.  And yet, the movie is immediately engaging, but more on that later.

“I’m on vacation!”
No idea why John McClane kept yelling this – he went to Russia to find out what was happening with his son.

There are no cops in Moscow
Seriously.  This movie has one of the craziest car chases you’ll ever see, but they couldn’t bother to have one cop car follow them around with the lights on.  Well, there might have been one, but the movie has no police presence despite heavily armed helicopters firing at buildings, mad cap chases and gun fights in full public view.

The Bad Guys
Just when it feels like we’re getting to know our bad guys, they die.

The Ending
I figure that they must have run out of money or time or both, because the movie just kinda ends.  I mean, there’s a big finale, but there isn’t much of a second act and I really thought there was going to be another half an hour, but it doesn’t happen.  There’s even this big muscular bad guy that Jai Courtney should have fought in the third act, but instead, that bad guy does nothing in this movie whatsoever.  Sometimes he walks with purpose, but that’s it.

Shaky Cam
Hollywood, can we cool it with the shaky hand-held camera work?  There are points when it looks like you’re making a mess of things just for the sake of shaky cam.  The silly airport family reunion at the end of the film has such crazy shaky cam that there are brief points where they can’t even keep Bruce Willis in the frame.  What’s the point of that?  It’s not an action sequence!  He’s not in a weird or tense situation… it just looks like crap!

For all my complaining…
This movie is a lot of fun.  The action sequences are awesome (even if the repeat the helicopter shooting into the building thing) and I thought Courtney and Willis had good chemistry.  Still, the movie ends abruptly and they just don’t die hard enough for me during the movie.  I’d like to see another half an hour at the end, with a few changes:  first, the bad guy daughter should die on the roof, not the bad guy dad.  The bad guy dad had just been revealed to be evil only moments before, and he’s truly bad ass, so I would have liked to have seen more than 5 minutes of him being a bad ass, so he and the  big muscular bad guy should have escaped in the helicopter to allow for more die harding, during which Courtney could have fought big muscular bad guy and Willis could have gone through some elaborate chase to catch bad guy dad and hence, more opportunities for die harding, because the stars just don’t get beat up enough in this movie for me.  Still, it’s fun to watch, and the IMAX was great – and no 3D!  So the sound and visual components were awesome, and it’s worth seeing them just for that.  But the movie has  some fundamental problems I can’t forgive, hence the 6.5 out of 10. 

If you can fork over the cash to see this in IMAX, I’d check it out, but unless you’ve got a 60 inch TV and a killer sound system, there’s no point watching this movie at home.

*If you missed Die Hard week, click here to check out reviews of the entire Die Hard series!

About Jamie Insalaco

Jamie Insalaco is the author of CreativeJamie.com, BomberBanter.com and editor in chief of ComicBookClog.com

Posted on February 20, 2013, in movie review and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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