A Good Day to Die Hard
After 2007's Live Free or Die Hard, I had high hope that the franchise was on a well lit path to excellence. Not only was the film intense, funny, and entertaining, but Bruce Willis returned as the true action star that he is, leaving nothing to chance as he took the reins of John McClane with force and determination.
A Good Day to Die Hard is an entirely different story.
The film is really quite simple as John McClane ventures overseas to Russia to see his son. What he doesn't know is that his son is currently employed by the CIA and is stationed in Russia on a three-year top-secret mission. But anytime you get a McClane involved (or two, rather), things never go according to plan.
A Good Day to Die Hard marks a step back for the franchise as the story gets lost within its own self. Rather than tell anything of merit, the film ventures into a dark place, using explosions and violence as a means for entertainment. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a well choreographed fight sequence just as much as the next guy. But when there is nothing worthy in-between, that's when you start to lose my attention.
It was nice to see the franchise return to its roots with an R-rating, but A Good Day to Die Hard fails to materialize on its expanded creative freedom, ultimately using three chase sequences and one slow-mo jump from a building to summarize itself. The rest of the film is comprised of terrible dialogue as director John Moore pushes the father-son aspect of the story, drowning out the badass-ness that usually comes with a John McClane adventure.
Jai Courtney joins the McClane family as Jack, John's son, and does a decent job at mimicking the rough, hard, and oftentimes stubborn personality of star Willis. Their chemistry is undeniable, a rare bright side to the film. Otherwise, all audience is greeted with is a shallow and predictable plot that contains about five too many twists to really have any effect on those watching. As a result, the film rarely ventures above a tolerable watch—at least for those who have already hit puberty. And there is simply no way for Willis or his yippie kay yay-ing to save it.