A Good Day to Die Hard Review

Posted: May 26, 2013 by pecknt in the american86's Movie Reviews


The first Die Hard, in my honest opinion will go down as a classic, if it is not already.  It is one of the finest action films ever created, with a crafty villain, solid performances and great entertainment values throughout. The success through the franchise continued with an inconsistent second film, a much better third film, a rough fourth and now a fifth film, A Good Day to Die Hard. I was one of the few Die Hard fans who defended Live Free or Die Hard, despite its desperate attempt to make John McClane into a super cop. In A Good Day to Die Hard, a scene shows a helicopter flying through the air, causing incredible havoc, only to be ripped apart, trying so hard to stay in the air until it crashes, in a burning inferno. This perfectly sums up the Die Hard franchise, a once high in the air action franchise, now burning miserably.

The plot follows John McClane (reprised by the man who made the character, Bruce Willis) as he travels to Russia to find his soon to be imprisoned son, Jack (Jai Courtney).  In typical Die Hard film style, everything goes horribly wrong. A mad man goes on the loose, his mission to find hidden nuclear weapons in the hope of obtaining millions of dollars. The only resemblance  this film has to previous Die Hard films is the fact that, no matter what, it always comes down to money, no matter how big the plot is, it’s always about the bad guys wanting to be rich.

A Good Day to Die Hard is an empty, inconsistent, action schlock  that is completely avoid of a story worthy of it’s ridiculous action set pieces that are absolutely nauseating. In the beginning of the film, we see a nearly 100 plus car pileup, a sizeable destruction that becomes incredibly laughable. It is made worse by the acting, and forced exposition by the film’s sorta-villain Alik (Rasha Bukvic). One of the main complaints about Live Free or Die Hard was that Timothy Olyphant was a weak villain. Alik is such a bad villain that he makes Olyphant look like Hans Gruber, an incredible exaggeration that feels incredibly exact.

A Good Day to Die Hard really tries to sell the relationship between John McClane and his estranged, CIA agent son, Jack but the fact is, its a terrible relationship.  The two bicker, constantly, and with a forced, almost instantaneous fix, we are suppose to be sold with the fact that they have excellent father/son chemistry. Jack bickers at his Dad, only ONCE referring to John as Dad, yet we are suppose to support this brat. Why? The screenwriters attempt to create tension between the two characters just makes Jack unlikeable. Bruce Willis’ dialogue is dumbed down majorly in comparison to previous Die Hard films, never really exploring  his witty, dry, sarcastic humor. The only thing he does mention is the fact that he is on ‘vacation’, a line said nearly a dozen times, not once is it ever ‘funny’.

The only redeeming factor is some of the action set pieces are pretty solid, but yet marred by terrible special effects that make the film look almost video game-ish. The truck chase through Russia, while being completely over the top, and hard to follow is still impressive in the set up. It is total destruction, and some of the stunts are pretty cool. Beyond that, besides a just okay action finale, nothing in the action department is entirely rewarding.

I love the Die Hard franchise. John McClane is a great action character that has done so much for the genre, and to consider this red headed step child to be a part of the franchise that started it all hurts my spleen. A Good Day to Die Hard is bloated, not fun, meaningless, mindless and most of all, forgettable. All the previous Die Hard films have a few, if not a dozen moments that you will remember, or even quote. A Good Day to Die Hard has a few dozen reasons not to remember it.


  1. le0pard13 says:

    The film that accomplished what I thought impossible. The new king for worst Die Hard movie. Here I thought Renny Harlin’s would reign forever. God, I hated this.

    “The truck chase through Russia, while being completely over the top, and hard to follow is still impressive in the set up.”

    I see your point. However, for me it’s a cardinal sin for an action sequence to have the audience completely lose their way in the set. As opposed to the film, a fine review. Thanks, pecknt.

  2. ianthecool says:

    Good review. Luckily forgettable sequels can be forgotten, and the better films can still shine through.

  3. Pretty bad especially for a Die Hard film :D

  4. pecknt says:

    I appreciate the comments guys. I am a huge Die Hard fan, and just found it really hard to be engaged, or entertained by a film heightened with action mediocrity. I am glad I am not the only one to feel this way.

  5. Agreed. This was a horrendous piece of crap. LOL. You’re right, too, watching McClane and son was painful…

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