Review: A Good Day to Die Hard (Moore, 2013)

2013 seems to be the year for attempted action comebacks. In January Schwarzenegger came back with dumb-but-fun action flick The Last Stand. Stallone then followed suit no less than a week later with Bullet to the Head which, according to reviews, was similarly stupid yet entertaining. So with those two going back to what they do best, it makes sense for other action stars of the seventies and eighties to give their careers a little resuscitation and what better way for Bruce Willis to do that than to wheel out John McClane for another outing?

This time around John McClane (Willis) believes that his son Jack (Jai Courtney) is in danger and travels to Russia in order to rescue him. When he gets there however, John finds out that his son is a super spy and that his attempt to rescue him have created more problems Jack. Now the pair must work together to stop bad people from doing bad things whilst trying to create a father son bond that they both crave so much.

This movie is directed by John Moore, the guy responsible for the film adaptation of Max Payne. Just let that one sink in for a while.

Cool guy’s don’t look at explosions. McClain (Willis) and Jack (Courtney) blowing up bad guys.

This is a man whose greatest achievement was the 2006 remake of The Omen and now he has been given the reigns to one of the greatest action franchises ever. Anybody who has seen Moore’s previous directorial efforts will probably be able to tell you that it is apparent that his visions as a filmmaker are not his own, but of the studio (which usually is Fox) that hires him. Because of this, his films tend to have a very corporate feel as it appears that he is only hired because he does what he is told by executives and (just about) knows how to work a camera around a scene. In A Good Day To Die Hard, it would appear that Moore is not about to change his ways any time soon. It’s so generic that the movie doesn’t even feel like it belongs to the Die Hard franchise, as though Willis has simply been edited in to a typical rubbish action movie.

Another major problem is that Willis isn’t playing McClane anymore. Here he has been reduced to just another version of ‘Old Bruce Willis’ which has been done before (and better) in The Expendables and RED.  The supporting cast isn’t much better; despite being an okay presence in films of this genre, Jai Courtney’s Jack is given nothing to do here except recite lines about how John (his father) was always to busy to spend time with him. Seeing as John was previously busy trying to save the world from terrorist organisations, one would have thought that Jack would be a bit more understanding.

If you’re looking for a decent action film steer clear of this production line garbage. If you want to watch a Die Hard film well there are four others to choose from. However if you’re looking for something to act as a sleeping pill then this could do the trick (I dosed off twice and had to try very hard to stop doing so afterwards). But of course despite everything that has been said in this review and others, the film has already taken in a tonne of money and a sixth film is being discussed.




Nathan Gibbons