Movie Breakdown: A Good Day To Die Hard (Noah)

February 14, 2013


People are doing traditional-style reviews all over the web, so we decided to try something different.  In each “breakdown” we’ll take a look at what a film’s marketing lead us to believe, how the movie actually played, and then what we learned from it all.  Read on!

The Impression:

I have been surprisingly happy with all of the Die Hard sequels. Sure, none of them, not a one, live up to the pure joy that the siege of Nakatomi Tower brings to me, but all of them (yes, even the 4th one) have brought some level of enjoyment. From trailers alone, I’m thinking that maybe, just maybe A Good Day To Die Hard might follow this tradition. Here’s hoping.

The Reality:

The only way to describe A Good Day To Die Hard is, well, sad. I mean that’s not true, there are many many ways to describe A Good Day To Die Hard – terrible, awful, toneless, “Sex In The City 2 bad” – but when I think about A Good Day To Die Hard and trying to critique it in the context of the other films, it’s just sad. Die Hard was the first R-rated film I was ever allowed to see. I was six and my dad, clearly an irresponsible parent, ordered pizzas and sodas and put it on the old boob-tube and then pulled his hat down over his eyes every time a gun went off. The images from the first Die Hard are still burned in to my brain. I still think about John McClane shooting the guy in the nuts from below the table; still smile when I think of Hans’ slow-motion fall; still can’t believe that Carl from Family Matters had a supporting role in anything. Fine, the 2nd film is a less-well done rehash of the first film, and Die Hard With A Vengeance isn’t exactly in the same vein, and Live Free Or Die Hard is a whole different world that McClane seems to have just been teleported to, but in the end, all of them at least pulse with the blood that made the first Die Hard such a classic. They were films about a New York cop who got pulled, again, in to a shitty situation and had to blast his way out with an unimaginable amount of bullets and maybe the help of a special someone. They were films about John McClane, bullets, and credible, imaginative, entertaining bloodshed. They had heart and they had some grit, and they weren’t just your modern day action film, churned out with no character, just explosions on top of explosions. And that’s where A Good Day To Die Hard falls off the rails.

This is a very boring, very lazy film that just assumes that you’ve seen the first four Die Hard films, that you know John McClane and because of that you know his son (Jai Courtney) and because of that you know that John McClane loves adventure (he doesn’t) and that he can jump through anything and not die (seemingly, after this movie he can). It’s a Die Hard film as made by someone who’s seen a few minutes of Live Free Or Die Hard and thought, “This is easy, I can do this.” There aren’t a lot of things in this film, it’s mostly just repetitive machine gun fire and Bruce Willis and Jai Courtney explaining things to each other. I can’t remember a single name of a single character that isn’t named John McClane and there’s actually a scene at the end that I think they may have cut from Grand Theft Auto III (you’ll know the one). I wish I could say that this is just another shitty action movie in a Hollywood slate horrifically populated by them. But this is Die Hard, and the fact that anyone allowed it to get this bad, well, it’s just sad.

The Lesson:

Fuck you Hollywood. Fuck you in the goddamn face.


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