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The new Bruce Willis actioner is filled with international intrigue, expensive-looking action sequences, and rampant dullness....
Fox / 98 Minutes / 2013 / Rated R / Street Date: June 4, 2013
The great Die Hard movies were more than just great suspense films – they were edge-of-your-seat explosions of witty, often comical, always engaging cinematic glee. Even the more mundane elements of Die Harder were countered nicely by Bruce Willis’ steely-smirk charm and the movie’s overall sense of imperative narrative locomotion. But after McTiernan’s last installment of the series, things have changed.
I’m sure I echo the sentiments of the blogosphere when I say that A Good Day to Die Hard seems far more like a Die Hard rip-off than a new chapter in the famed series. If one sits back and thinks of what made the original DH such a balls-out blast, it becomes quickly apparent that none of those descriptors take any root in this shaky, bombastic mess of a movie: I simply can’t believe that the thrill in John McClane’s continuing adventures is gone.
The mind-numbing stupidity of the movie’s dramatic base involves McClane (Willis) and his son Jack (Jai Courtney). In this tale, we learn early on that their relationship has gone sour as of late – for one reason or another, they just haven’t been able to communicate with each other all that well. But when McClane learns that his kid has found himself in a full-blown legal crisis in Russia, he boards a plane and does everything he can to keep sonny boy out of a Siberian gulag.
What populate the real estate of A Good Day to Die Hard so disappointingly are plot twists. We go from one Bourne-esque shoot-out to another, and while director John Moore certainly appears to think that narrative doglegs are what will keep his squeaking nightmare of a film afloat, with every new presentation of surprise information, the thing snowballs into ludicrousness. A couple more like this one and we’re likely to forget just how punchy and invigorating those first Die Hard movies were…