Sunday, 11 August 2013

Film Review: A Good Day to Die Hard

About the film
A Good Day to Die Hard is a 2013 action film and the fifth instalment in the Die Hard series. The film was released in the UK on 14th February, is rated 12A and has a run time of 98 minutes.

When police officer and detective John McClane finds out there is something going on with his son, Jack, he heads off on the first flight to Russia to figure out exactly what is going on. While believing his son is in some kind of trouble, Jack is actually a CIA agent undercover. In the midst of discovering his son’s secret life, John McClane finds himself knee deep in Russian mobsters and nuclear weapons.

What I thought
So far, I have been a big fan of Bruce Willis and the Die Hard series. There hasn’t been a film I disliked… up until now.

The film starts off with a pretty big bang. John McClane, played by Bruce Willis heads off to sort out his troublesome son is Russia. He gets on a plane and lands in a place he has never been before but seems to quickly be able to locate Jack. After an explosion at the courthouse where Jack is part of a trial, an extremely long car chase takes place. While there is plenty of action going on, and a pretty good car chase, this part of the film was so long! Don’t get me wrong, I love a good car scene but this one seemed to go on forever. I think I was about 40 minutes in when I looked at the clock and this part of the film had only just finished.

In regards to the rest of the plot, A Good Day to Die Hard is pretty disappointing. I was expecting something quite interesting and complex, with some really good bad guys (like in the fourth film) but that wasn’t what I got at all. I found the plot to be very average, at best, and it did little to hold my interest. To add to a quite boring plot, there is the terrible writing. In previous films in this series, there have been some great one liners, some witty remarks from both Willis and the bad guys and just some generally great dialogue but this film didn’t really have any of that. The one liners given to John McClane were nothing new, they were predictable and they weren’t funny like they have been before.

However, while the plot and dialogue were disappointing, Bruce Willis was not. Although he gets a script not up to the standards of previous films, he does the best he can with it. Also, he is far from being the age he was at the beginning of this series but he still plays McClane extremely well. Age does not seem to be a weakening factor for Willis as he is still a great action film actor. There were some especially great scenes of him and Jai Courtney who plays his son Jack being the action heroes and kicking some arse. Speaking of Courtney, I had first seen him in Jack Reacher and instantly liked him and this film only strengthened those feelings.

As an action film, those scenes are the best things about this one. There are plenty of chases, gun fights and stunts to keep fans happy. Although I previously said that the long car chase annoyed me, it was spectacularly shot and I can see a lot of people loving the drama and excitement of it. I would have loved for this to have been cut short, even by just a little bit, in order to make time for a better plot. The pacing of this film was also very erratic and I didn’t like this. At times, there are extremely long action scenes and then a very long time without anything at all.

Overall, A Good Day to Die Hard just wasn’t for me and I really hate saying that. While the acting was spot on, there was just too much that annoyed me about it. 

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