Film Review: A Good Day to Die Hard

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A Good Day to Die Hard is one of the worst films I have ever seen in a theater; and that isn’t hyperbole.

I reserve a certain type of review for only the worst of the worst and I think this fifth entry into the Die Hard franchise deserves just that. A quick note before I rant by sharing my connection to the Die Hard franchise. I am by no means die hard (a million apologies) fan, I love Die Hard with a Vengeance and enjoy the original film quite a bit but haven’t seen it in a while. Die Hard 2 I have no memory of outside planes blowing up in the snow and Live Free is a fun action movie even if it isn’t really a “Die Hard” film. I would call myself a Bruce Willis fan (he was great in Looper and Moonrise Kingdom just last year) and I had high hopes for Jai Courtney after his bad ass turn in Jack Reacher. This movie is terrible though and I encourage you not to bother seeing it in any way shape or form; ever.

Now, lets get on to the list of reasons why this movie is so fucking terrible.

-John Moore’s direction is non-existent. Shots feel haphazard and random, his actors have no emotion and just say their lines and no one on his team behind the scenes does anything of merit.

-The cinematography is beyond ugly. Do you love yellow lights, well the film is shot almost entirely under them, outside the opening scenes that have a blue hue layered on top of seemingly CGI heavy backgrounds that stick out like a sore thumb. There is also shot after shot that are both random and focus on nothing; I lost count of them all.

-Oh, did you also know that CIA headquarters is located in a small industrial back room that has a constantly flashing yellow alarm light? And don’t worry, everyone that works there spouts off generic jargon for you to roll your eyes at.

-The editing makes the film feel way longer than its 90+ minutes and yet feels like it’s stretching the movie out for every second it can get. Multiple shots start for more than a few seconds before anything is happening on screen, leaving us just staring at nothing multiple times.

-The sound design is atrocious. From simple punches sounding cheap and fake to completely illogical sounds coming from certain objects (listen to the re-bar).

-The score is atrocious and long lingering sustained notes pierce your ears and serve no purpose.

-Logic and continuity also go out the window and I found myself going, “what the hell is going on” or “how did that just happen” countless times. I am not a nitpicker, but the film is just riddled with simple to spot errors and mistakes.

-The villains are horrendous and laughable, especially “the dancer.” Plus the third act reveal makes no sense, especially given the man power and energy being used in the end, why was the ruse necessary? Also, the bad guy has superhuman spidey senses in the last fight as he is able to tell an attacker is coming over the roar of a helicopter prop ramming into the side of a building; and don’t worry the helicopter still flies wonderfully after all that.

-The action in the film is ridiculous and not in a good way. It’s big, loud, shot poorly and never engaging since McClane is a superhero and we don’t care about anyone else. It also defies the law of physics at every turn.

-The actors are all in autopilot and they are given no favors by a horrendous script that lacks humor or cleverness. The dialogue isn’t the only problem with the script, see the lack of logic, and it pays as little lip service as possible to a father/son story that takes up more lines than the film’s non-existent plot.

-Finally, one of the final moments of the film has our characters sitting around on broken glass, crawling around like it doesn’t matter. Shows how far this franchise has come since it roots. Also, don’t worry, McClane’s outfit looks vaguely familiar at the end as in Die Hard and the villain is dispatched ala Rickman, but with a shitty CG twist.

-Did I mention nothing makes sense?

In the end, A Good Day to Die Hard is an embarrassment for almost everyone involved and it is astonishing that this movie was even produced. I’m the last person to slam franchises that linger too long or nitpick any film to death, but this film is a piece of shit that you should avoid at all costs.

A Good Day to Die Hard is an F-

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