Before seeing the new Die Hard I tried desperately to ignore the reviews and negative press because I refused to believe it. I wanted so much for Bruce Willis to blow me away in his new action packed sequel and was determined to enjoy it. Having been SO excited to see this film, what followed left me really quite devastated.
Now I have read some reviews and there are some really harsh critics. You can’t take Die Hard too seriously, I think we established this after the second one at least. People have said, ‘what did you expect after 4.0?’ Well actually I really enjoyed Die Hard 4.0, it had some great characters who were developed through the film, brilliant action scenes (erm a helicopter in a tunnel, awesome), and what I thought was a really good story line. Something that encouraged fantastic dialogue and some genuinely funny back and forth between McClane and Justin Longs character. Unfortunately what I just described is the exact opposite of A Good Day to Die Hard – and bare in mind I WANTED this to be good.
First of all the story line… McClane finds out that his estranged son who calls himself Jack is in trouble with the law in Russia, so decides to follow him out there and save him. However, when McClane gets there it turns out that Jack is actually working for the CIA and is on a secret mission. When McClane gets to Russia is when I had my first wave of panic, ‘oh no this is going to be a terrible film’! The saving grace was the funny singing taxi driver, after that it all goes down hill. When he starts to chase Jack down I started to feel pity for McClane… this is not a nice feeling, feeling sorry for your Hero. I wanted to be on McClane’s side, spurring him on. Instead I was cringing a little bit and thinking ‘oh please stop you’re making things worse’.
Jack is played by Jai Courtney who was in Jack Reacher not too long ago. I didn’t care for his character much, in fact he is the villain in Reacher and the hero in Die Hard yet seemed to be playing the same role… Well that’s by the by because he didn’t have much to work with in the way of script. This is my main gripe. The dialogue was just POOR. The whole film was full of miss-placed one liners and shoddy banter between father and son McClane. “You’re young and stupid” – “You’re old” and so and so forth. Even the epic-ness of “Yippee Ki-Yay Mother Fucker” was lost in a haze of flaming helicopter and totally missed by the expectant audience.
The crappy dialogue continued with the villains too. Not one interesting character among them, and every one you expect to be the bad guy IS the bad guy, even if you think ‘nooo that would be too obvious’, you guessed the twist. From the ridiculous magical chemical that disbands radiation in a matter of seconds, to the apparent jet car that gets them from Moscow to the Ukraine in a night… you should suspend your disbelief a little higher than usual.
There were some entertaining action sequences to give the film some credit. McClane steals a 4×4, by punching a Russian in the face accompanied by an 80’s ‘POW’ sound effect, after shouting at him “Do you think I understand anything your saying?!” (what a massive tool). He takes this 4×4 for some real off roading climbing over lorries and cars which was pretty cool, and the car chase that follows is full of explosions and large scale damage as per usual. Good fun! Except for when McClane gets a worried phone call from his daughter who he left at the airport in NY. Just don’t answer the god dam phone! Well he answers it and the conversation that follows during the high speed chase is the old ‘I will answer your questions truthfully but you don’t really know what’s happening here’, chortle chortle. Eurgh.
The father son theme in this film is severely over done and not at all subtle. I started to type then about it’s cheesy lines and rubbish Hollywood style relationship but it just makes me annoyed so I will move on.
A main staple of the Die Hard movies are the ‘side kicks’ – Sgt. Powell in Die Hard, Marvin the Janitor in Die Hard 2, Zeus Carver for Die Hard: With a Vengeance and Matt Farrell in 4.0. A Good Day to Die Hard though sees Bruce becoming the side kick, getting in the way, slowing the hero down but eventually helping him beat the bad guys in the end. Looks like Jack is going to be taking the mantle – as if the big hint wasn’t enough at the end of this last instalment when he calls himself John McClane. To which McClane exclaims “Junior!”, Jack; “Well that makes you Senior” – ha look another old joke, yawn.
To sum up then, if this were just another Bruce Willis action film I probably still would have been disappointed due to the awful script and poor story line. But maybe wouldn’t have walked out the cinema feeling angry and as if I had been personally betrayed by a close friend. It sounds severe but I love John McClane and would quite happily have had his babies until this piece of crap came out at the cinema.
RANT OVER! I promise to have a much more coherent review next time!