A Good Day to Die Hard(2013)
Dir: John Moore
Mitt Romney called Russia geopolitical enemy number 1 in his presidential campaign leaving the pundits scratching their bald heads.It stands to reason that democrat dominated hollywood must prove him otherwise. But the makers of the latest installment of the Die Hard franchise see reason in Mitt Witt, and decide to stage the action in Moscow.The Middle East Islamic fundamentalists are having a day off, to mourn the onscreen demise of Osama Bin Laden in the spectacular Zero Dark Thirty.There is not a single good Russian in the film, well actually there is the cabbie in the beginning who sings Sinatra to the bemusement of a jet lagged Bruce Willis.
John McClane(did you say John McCaine?), never mind the confusing name, played as usual by Bruce Willis arrives in Moscow to bail out his son who seems to in a bit of a spot with the friendly russian authorities.But this is a Die hard film and soon all hell breaks loose.His son Jack played by Jai Courtney is actually a CIA agent. The apple does not fall from a tree and why should it?Jack is on the trail of a jailed politician Yuri, who has fallen out with the current Defense minister( A Putin/Medvedev composite).
The CIA wants Yuri and the file that he has, incriminating the minister in a scandal related to the Chernobyl disaster.There is a court hearing where Jack and Yuri appear together. The CIA conducts an operation and they escape.In the midst of the mayhem John makes an appearance as the concerned father.Jacks jaws falls out in the middle of the flying debris of the explosion.He refuses to call him dad.There is a car chase with indestructible Mercedes vehicles.This is product placement die-hard style. The Merc off-roader which Willis drives , makes light of driving over the bumper to bumper Moscow traffic and then it just rams into an armored vehicle ten times its weight.The bad guys learn about German engineering the hard way.I still doubt Merc will sell a single rig based on this movie, but they gotta spend their marketing budget one way or the other.
Now Yuri has a beautiful daughter and by the time the film is over we would have seen many shades of father son and father daughter relationships under severe duress.None of these shades will make anybody a better parent or child but some of the banter is a funny at times.John Moore starts on a James Bond note with stylized credits and music and then quickly descends into slam-bang action where Bruce Willis more or less proves his immortality. The plot is as thin as Willis’s hairline but the action is the real deal in any Die Hard film.Here most of the hard work falls on Jai Courtney’s shoulders who is a poor man’s Van Diesel with a much smaller range of expressions.
A Good Day to Die Hard is not a worthy addition to franchise.Its 98 minutes of runtime has its sleepy moments and I was reminded of Skyfall and how it kept us engaged in its 150 minutes of inconsequential happenings.Even the latest Jason Bourne installment packed considerably greater punch.So does it mean that in the future all these homo-sapiens super heroes will team up like the X Men or The Avengers? Hopefully not.One of things which works here are the special effects, to their credit they are invisible under all the rubble.
Bruce Willis was good in Looper, here he looks like he is just passing time and laughing under his breath at John McLane, and getting paid shitloads of money. He was 33 when the first Die Hard film came out in 1988 and 25 years later at 58 he should either hang up his boots or get the writers to write him some brains.This film will appeal no doubt to the die-hard fans of the franchise but it has little to offer the moviegoer looking for some imaginative filmmaking.Technically the film is sound with a climax that tries hard to salvage the film.In the final analysis Die Hard which used to be a guilty pleasure has turned into a deliberate sin. This franchise needs the boot, ok ok reboot.
#The film is currently playing in Singapore.Worldwide release 14th Feb.