Friday, May 31, 2013

A Good Day to Die Hard

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! Yippie-Kay-Yay, Mother Father (*content edited*)

A Good Day to Die Hard – 2 out of 5

Damn…I really wanted to like this movie. I was excited for it when I saw the trailer and sat down with anticipation that I would get some awesome McClane/Yippi-Kay-Ya, Motherfucker action…but I didn’t get that. Instead, I got a Die Hard film that just was utterly disappointing…but at least it gave me some decent action. That’s got to count for something…right?



So, John McClane is back and he is getting all Comrade all over your vodka-chugging asses (whoa…did I just get racist against Russians?). After finding out his son was put in prison for murder, McClane (Bruce Willis—but like I really had to say who played him, COME ON!) travels to the country that, according to movies, is made entirely out of vodka, overcast skies, abandoned factories that are used for housing insane raves full of people in a lot of fur and leather and loads of snow—he went to Russian, is what I’m trying to say. Soon he finds his son Jack (Jai Courtney) after he breaks free from being detained and John finds out that his son is actually a spy sent to stop a nuclear heist from going down. Now, the McClane crew must work together to kick some ass…and…I don’t know…make their enemies die hard? (There, that is my obligatory stupid use of the title in the review that most critics are so fond of and think it makes them awesome.)

Jack's shirt isn't's just stained with the blood of his enemies.

I really, REALLY wanted to like this movie because I’m a fan of the Die Hard films (yes, even Live Free or Die Hard—I await your negative comments about how I’m wrong and stupid and should die for liking a movie you hate) but I was so incredibly disappointed with this one. However, I was filled with such optimism that McClane wouldn’t let me down that it wasn’t until the movie was practically over that I was honest with myself and admitted that I found the film to be boring, unimaginative and just something that looks like it was thrown together last minute.

Do you really wanna die hard with that face on your mug, McClane?

Nice Hans Gruber impression...very detailed.
 I’ve accepted that McClane will never again be the Average Joe cop he once was that gets thrown into a shitstorm and is forced to climb a seemingly insurmountable mountain of well dressed, extremely well armed and incredibly wealthy European terrorists. I’ve accepted that he will get his ass handed to him but will make sure that, in the end, he’ll get the last shot off and come off victorious. I’m okay with the fact he is no longer that person but rather a super soldier on steroids that is, basically, unstoppable. However, he still pretty much had some limitations that made him human and made it look like he was an everyday kind of guy who is forcefully thrown into a situation he doesn’t want to be in but has enough integrity that he sticks it out. Even in the last film (yeah, I’m pretty much signing my death-by-down votes on Reddit by admitting I liked it) when he was almost literally throwing cars barehanded at helicopters (that happened right?), there was a sense he was still just a regular guy; albeit a small sense.

"My dad is just a regular guy...which is how I learned to become a
super spy."

This time, there is no semblance. Whether it be John leaping out of a 30th floor window and landing safely or standing in the open and fire at a never-ending horde of enemies and not getting his ass shot enough times to give him rapper street cred a million times over or walking away from car crash after car crash with just a couple of cuts on the top of his bald head (remember, he had hair when this franchise started…but, I guess, if you can’t go a year or two without having to fight some form of terrorists or their revenge-happy brother, you would probably lose your hair too), McClane is no longer the man he was when the series started (in more ways than just his hair)—but that’s understandable because a character has to develop over time—but he, somewhere along the way, was injected with whatever Captain America has in his veins, ingested some of The Hulk’s piss, had a blood transfusion from Spidey or is, secretly, another lost son of Krypton because he is no longer the cop running barefoot through broken glass to stop Alan Rickman and is now, basically, a superhero and it’s kinda annoying.

"I shared needles with Superman today, son.  We can fly now."

When you're a villain that built and that covered in
tattoos, you're legally required to not wear a shirt.
 But not as annoying as the constant yelling John McClane does throughout the film. And I don’t mean yelling as in “Grr, angry growl yelling because I am being shot at by assholes and I’m prepared to dish out death for that” but rather “I’m a whiny father yelling at his son for not listening” and “I’m yelling really shitty one-liners that are neither witty or amusing because the scriptwriter clearly had a deadline he had to meet.” This constant whiny (and, continuous use of yelling his son’s name) really felt out of character for John McClane and ended up making an entire chase sequence towards the beginning of the film (a chase sequence that, according to my rudimentary calculations, most likely killed at least 1,436 innocent civilians…and that’s on the low side of my estimate) something less of an awesome spectacle and more of a grating and awful thing to experience because I found myself not paying attention to all the smashing and twisting metal and found myself hoping that Bruce Willis would just keep his mouth closed and not call out to his son (who is in a completely different vehicle…HE CAN’T HEAR YOU, JOHN!  Just like you can't hear me because this is text and John McClane is a fictional character.)

Not a single person survived...but these crashes were by people hoping to block
out McClane's constant shouting.

While it was cool to see John get to reunite with his son (who is really only established and nothing more throughout the franchise) and have an adventure with him (having his daughter added to the mix was another thing I enjoyed about LFODH…IMDb users are warming up their “you’re a faggot” comments) but the writers completely skipped over the rich, fertile land of dramatic tension this could bring to fruition (because Jack has some Daddy issues) and, instead, made Jack a super spy with the same superhuman abilities as his father. This just ends up further pushing the line that this film is just another generic action film.

"Why didn't you buy me that Nintendo, Dad!  I hate you and your constant
saving the day from terrorism."

I'm assuming this leads to a Stargate or a star-like
 Things only get worse when you realize that the film doesn’t really have a villain or decent antagonist for the McClane boys to battle. Oh, there is a bad guy but he lacks the charisma and screen presence that all the other baddies throughout the franchise that John has face (like Timothy Olyphant in Live Free or Die Hard—okay, at this point I’m just antagonizing you and daring you to call me a shit head for liking that one). We don’t get a Hans or Simon Gruber or even a freaking Col. Stuart. We have no real bad dude giving any real immediate threat to the McClane squad. Sure, there’s a terrorist like man in the film ready to unleash some hell on the world but there was just no immediate threat that was palpable in the story. Even the minions that McClane fights have no real screen presence and only come off as a wave of faceless bad guys John and Jack are ready to mow down with little regard to their safety because they are in full-on God-mode at the time.

"Unlimited ammo, noobs.  LOL!"

Aside from these very harmful factors, the rest of the film is…decent. Bruce Willis and Jai Courtney are adequate in their roles while the rest of the cast is…well, there. The action sequences are passable and are over-the-top in such a way that they are memorable but, at the same time, are TOO over-the-top so they end up becoming too ridiculous to really appreciate. I also enjoyed that they decided against trying to appeal to a mass audience and just went with the much appreciated R-rating (that was the one thing I didn’t like about Live Free or Die Hard—but then they made it up to me with the Unrated DVD release!).

At least another 20 innocent villains died to kill the 6 bad guys pictured.

Insert your own J.J. Abrams joke.
 As I stated earlier, I really wanted to enjoy A Good Day to Die Hard. I love the other films (remember, I liked Live Free or Die Hard…I await being told I’m a fucking moron from The Internet) and I love the character of John McClane but this film felt like a Die Hard film in name only. The drastic departure from the familiar formula and familiar characters, a lack of even a passable bad guy and action sequences that, in the end, weren’t that spectacular really ended up hurting all enjoyment factor I could possibly have received from this movie…and that just made me sad.


  1. Drop the self-loathing in your review. It is neither funny nor amusing. You are posting this review on your blog, and although I came to your blog through your posting on reddit, who gives a damn about karma points?

    State your perceived merits and demerits of the film, support your opinions with facts viewed from the movie, then let the discussion happen.

    For the record, I did enjoy Die Hard 4 as well, though not as much as I would have liked. I think most of the stars had chemistry and were fun to watch together. However the appeal of John McClane has always been in his 'everyday guy' demeanor and the past two outings have plastered on a supercop template.

    Any fan of the original Die hards is going to be disappointed in the new movies because they are diehard movies in name only. Instead of creating a new IP to market the movie, hollywood piggybacks new films with established IPs so they can bankroll on the profitability of the movie with the brand recognition. Die Hard 5 wasn't so much a Die hard movie as it was a movie with the name Die Hard in it.

    You posit nothing new in your review, nor do you give me a unique perspective on the film. I suppose in essence, your mediocre review parallels the mediocre movie you are reviewing.

    1. Alright, state my opinions about the what I liked and didn't like and don't worry about how others view my writing...unless it is what you say and then type what you like. Got it!


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