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The most misleading thing about this film is the title. It is not a Good Day To Die Hard, more like a sad day for the franchise.
The last film was okay, had lots of action and was fun even if it was, at times, nonsensical. This film is just dumb with a capital D!
Bruce, after traveling to Moscow to see his son, just seems to be going through the motions and, in many scenes, looks tired and bored as though just waiting to cash in his paycheck. The guy playing his son is so nondescript I cannot even bother to remember his name and seems pretty much surplus to requirements throughout. All in all this was a total waste of an hour 4o minutes of my time!
There are so many plot holes in this film, it might as well be Swiss cheese.
In one scene early on, we are supposed to just accept the fact that Bruce has lost all sense of moral compass as he plows across the busy motorways of Moscow with no care or regard for any innocent motorists who get in his way and the lack of any significant Police activity would be laughable if this film wasn''t quite so bad.
As it is, when they do turn up, the local Police are just used as cannon fodder - removing any chance of Bruce liaising with them in a nostalgic Red Heat kind of way which was something I had been hoping we might see.
Indeed, when I heard this was set in Russia, a new spin on the classic Red Heat was exactly what I was hoping for. I would have loved to see Bruce Willis teaming up with his Eastern European counterpart, but unfortunately apparently this was not to be!
All this film consists of is mindless action, car chases and violence with nothing of substance to back it up! If you want a film that leaves you feeling like your brain cells are dying and you are slowly getting more and more dumb with every scene, then this is for you.
It is difficult to come up with even one redeeming feature!
Hopefully this will be the last in the series. Die Hard With A Vengeance was the last truly decent entry and everything since has just gone downhill.
Even the camera work on this is appalling, making it a Die Hard film really in name and name only.
You want to know what I really think? You could''ve called this anything and still got away with it. Calling it Die Hard is just a way of them making more money but unfortunately this tactic may well have back-fired on them!
Die Hard 5: A good day to Die Hard was released in the cinemas at the start of Spring last year as one of the big Easter blockbusters. For one reason or another I never got round to catching it on the silver screen, and have just recently picked up the DVD.
As a lifelong fan of the series I had big hopes for this, despite a poor critical reception. Reviews on release were mixed, but most settled on this being a mediocre action movie not worthy of the franchise.
They were right.
Die Hard is one of the best action franchises around in my opinion, and the series has evolved immensely over the last 25 years.
The first installment in 1988 was very much of its time - an all American hero (disgraced cop, no less) shooting bad guys and dispensing cheesy one-liners. Die Hard 2 (1990) was more of the same in a different setting, a new baddie and another engaging, just barely plausible story, and Die Hard With A Vengeance in 1995 revitalised the concept by having John McClane chasing around the city solving puzzles while the baddie emptied the gold reserves.
Die Hard 4 - Live free or Die Hard took 12 years to make it to the screen but was well worth the wait. It turned the franchise on its head and brought it bang up to date, having McClane battling cyber-criminals and using his head as well as his gun.
Bruce Willis reprises hos role as John McClane
Jai Courtney takes up as his son, Jack McClane
Viktor Chagarin played by Sergei Kolesnikov is a corrupt Russian official and our main baddy
Sebastian Koch plays Yuri Komarov, Chagarins ex employee turned snitch.
What's it about?
In a nutshell - as brief as possible with no spoilers!
Set in Russia. Yuri Komarov is wrongly on trial and looking at the death penalty for "crimes against the state", but is in possession of a file which will incriminate state official Viktor Chagarin. Chagarin wants him imprisoned and discredited to protect himself.
Jack McClane (working under an alias) is an undercover CIA agent who assassinates someone to get himself arrested, then offers to testify against Komarov in exchange for a lenient sentence.
John McClane (unaware that his son as a CIA agent) discovers Jack is on trial for murder in Russia so heads over to lend his support.
He arrives just in time to see a jail-break at the courthouse and his son Jack attempting to protect Komarov from a force of heavily armed militia trying to kidnap him (both sides want the info he has) and gets himself stuck in the middle of it.
The movie is then basically a back-and-forth with both sides trying to retrieve the file/key stashed away by Komarov, culminating in a fairly spectacular showdown at the Chernobyl reactor site in Ukraine.
Anyone hoping for another re-birth with the fifth movie is in for disappointment.
The set-pieces are truly excellent, from gun-fights to car chases they occur so thick and fast it's a wonder the budget wasn't tapped out in the first half hour! Sadly, it seems that so much effort went into the special effects, any form of character development or back-story was forgotten.
We already know John McClane, but there is virtually no introduction to the new characters.
A two/three minute discussion between Komarov and Chagarin is about all the history we're given between two of our main characters.
It's about the same for John's son. There are suggestions and alludes to an unhappy childhood (John McClane always working etc) but we don't really get a sense of history bubbling between these two. I'd say they are stand-alone characters thrown together in a badly conceived mash-up.
The muscle/brains pairing of Bruce Willis and Justing Long in DH4 worked so well because they were totally different characters and utterly at odds. This new combination of muscle/muscle doesn't really work for me and I can only think it was done to pass the baton to the newer generation - prepare Bruce for retirement but still have an action hero to pin the Die Hard series to.
The story was pretty good as it goes, certainly in keeping with the franchise, but it lacked any shocks or surprises and didn't carry much of a punch.
All the previous movies have been over 2 hours long, comprising of a reasonable build-up, a good hour or so of action leading to a superb finale and then usually a bit more action and a FINAL finale beyond that!
This one is a meagre hour and a half long, kicks off with action, follows with more action, then ends.
Instead of a slow reveal of the plot, there is one simple plot twist and then it heads to the final gunfight with explosions and helicopters and near death experiences. Again, pleasing to the eye but not very mentally challenging and definitely not what you associate with Die Hard.
The warmth and humour is something they seemed to forgot to include as well. Yippee Ki-Yay (Mother Russia!) makes an appearance, but any joshing between the characters is badly done and even Bruce's ice-cool cockiness and arrogance fails to push the right buttons in this one.
It's a 15 cert, but not much here to shock or offend other than a bit of bad language, there is nothing gory or explicit.
Run-time is listed as 98 minutes, but it's a little less on DVD at closer to 90.
No extras or goodies on my single disc copy. Not sure if there is a special edition available.
Price and availability:
RRP is the standard ten quid ticket. I bought mine from Sainsburys for £5 and I've seen it second hand in CEX for a pound cheaper than that.
Given the bad reception I think DVD sales were weak. Most places have it at a discount!
Not awful, but an unfortunate slap in the face for what has been an utterly amazing series of films so far. This is by far the runt of the litter, and if not tied to the Die Hard name it probably wouldn't have even got a cinema release.
Worth a watch if you have a free evening and nothing better then soaps on telly, but I wouldn't go out of my way to watch it.
Sorry Bruce. Still a cracking action series, but this one missed the mark.
It was my husbands turn to choose and buy the DVD so I knew I was in trouble but I didn't realise just how much until he bought home, A Good Day to Die Hard! What number in the series is that, about number 20 I asked him, jokingly but still wondering if Bruce Willis could withstand a few good punches at his age. Now, don't get my wrong, I happen to quite like a bald headed guy, my husband is bald but with no romance and usually not much of a storyline I wasn't really excited about watching this film.
According to the back of the DVD, we are told, "Bruce Willis is back in action - mind-blowing, heart stopping, rip roaring action - as John McClane, the heroic New York cop with a knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. John's latest predicament takes him all the way to Russia to track down his estranged son, Jack (Jai Courtney), who has been imprisoned in Moscow. But the mission takes a deadly turn as father and son must join forces to thwart a nuclear weapons heist that could trigger a World War."
To me, and I'm not really an expert on all the other Die Hard movies but I would say the plot sounds rather similar, man saves planet from total destruction, that kind of thing. You know what you are going to get with this kind of movie, blood, guts and plenty of guns. There are plenty of guns in this film and scenes where the only noise you can hear is the shooting of bullets for quite a few minutes straight.
I liked the introduction of the younger character, his son, in this film and at times it was almost as if they were sidekicks, not father and son but I found this storyline was actually ok and it explored their complex relationship to a degree, ending up with Jack actually calling him dad in the end. All along he had been calling him John so it was nice to see him call him dad.
There were several, no frequent times when I turned and said to my husband, "that would never happen, he would so be dead right now," for example, near the end when he was in a semi-truck that was hanging off the side of a helicopter that was being flown by a baddie and losing power and Bruce Willis and his son decide to propel themselves from the truck into a massive glass window which they broke thorugh to escape.
I would say Bruce has still got it, that rugged action man look that he has always had and actually gives the younger character a run for his money in the action and looks stakes. What I did find funny was that throughout the film, his running joke was that he was just in Russia on vacation so why did trouble keep finding him!
The film is rated 15 which is fine but I would maybe say it would be better off rated 18 because there is a lot of violence in it. The film lasts for approximately 93 minutes and special features include deleted scenes.
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.
Bruce Willis as John McClane
Jai Courtney as John "Jack" McClane, Jr.
Sebastian Koch as Yuri Komarov.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Lucy McClane
Yuliya Snigir as Irina
Radivoje Bukvić as Alik
Cole Hauser as Mike Collins.
Amaury Nolasco as Murphy
Sergei Kolesnikov as Viktor Chagarin
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.
*This review will also be posted on my blog and other sites*
I've been desperate to see the latest instalment of this long running franchise for weeks, and last night I finally got the chance......
The film starts with John McClane (Bruce Willis - do I even need to clarify that?!) learning that his estranged son is up to his neck in it in Russia after he has murdered a mobster in a nightclub. McClane hops on the next plane over and soon finds himself in Moscow, embroiled in yet another adventure, all be it not his own. McClane waits to catch a glimpse of his son outside the courthouse and soon starts realising that things aren't quite right. What follows is literally 90 minutes of blood, explosions, car chases, gun toting Russians (plus two Americans), oh and some weapons grade Uranium....
The $92 million (estimated) budget was well spent, with a good combination of Brucey / CGI! I dread the day when they make a Die Hard film that hasn't got Bruce Willis in it, although I do suspect this may have been the last? Despite only being released a little over a week ago, its $38 million at the box office (in the US alone), will no doubt be pleasing all involved. McClane is quick witted and dry and there are lots of one liners throughout the film that made me chuckle. He gels well with his on screen son, played by the relatively new comer Jai Courtney.
This film, for me, lived up to its 'Die Harder' title. It seemed to bring it faster and harder than Die Hard 4.0 which I seem to remember enjoying but at the same time being pretty unmemorable. Six years on and Brucey has aged that little bit more, but he certainly hasn't lost it. Die Harder is packed full of CGI and stunts that the first set of Die Hards could only dream of. Some of the CGI was (in action film terms) absolutely spectacular. Lots of slow motion scenes with Brucey flipping about all over the place, left me speechless in parts. Don't get me wrong, this is shut your brain down territory, no complex story lines or Oscar winning performances, but this is what Die Hard is all about, simplicity at its best.
For all you critics out there, give it a chance. Yes Skip Woods (The A-Team) probably wasn't the best choice in the world as writer, but this is no A Team, I promise you that! John Moore as Director is fairly surprising, but a good follow on for him from his last film (Max Payne). There are plenty of goofs, but which film doesn't nowadays? The main one of driving from Moscow to Chernoybl in a few short hours is probably the biggest (nearly 700 kilometres). The structure could be picked upon (I guess), it is a little erratic in places and extremely fast paced, but for me, that's what made the film. I didn't want the characters to sit over a cup of coffee and discuss their issues, I wanted them to do it while running around throwing grenades and jumping out of sky scrapers whilst under helicopter fire.....! That's what Die Hard's all about isn't it?
In terms of the storyline, as I mentioned, it is a little erratic in places, and possibly not structured the best way possible. It also didn't really have any cliffhangers as the moments where you were probably meant to gasp and say 'I didn't see that coming' had been spotted by me and most likely everyone in the cinema about twenty minutes previously. That aside... I still loved it! I went in expecting to love it and I wasn't disappointed. I think if you are going to go in expecting it to be rubbish, it will be. Just give it a chance and spread the love for Brucey ; )
At 97 minutes, it's a middle of the road length. It could have stretched a little longer, but it didn't feel like it was too short either. Interestingly, it is the shortest film from the franchise.
John McClane: 'The things we do for our kids. Yippie-kai-yay, mother %£&^£*.'
A Good Day to Die Hard, the fifth film in the long running series, is a somewhat ironic experience... but not in a good way. Apparently, it's the first Die Hard film to specifically start out as a Die Hard script - all the other films have started out as something else before having the Die Hard name attached.
The irony is that the film feels the least like a Die Hard film than anything that has gone before it. It feels more like a rather weak, generic spy thriller/Bourne wannabe than a Die Hard movie. Despite the fact that it was purpose written to feature him, it feels like the character of John McClane has been parachuted into the script for a very different film. I genuinely believe that you could completely remove McClane from this and still have EXACTLY THE SAME FILM. And I don't just mean replace him with a different character; I mean if you took him out of the film totally and didn't replace him with anything, you'd still end up with the same film. How can this be possible?
In lieu of any sort of plot, the film simply relies on a series of pointless, noisy and expensive set-pieces. Things kick off with an illogical and irritating car/van/truck chase across the roads of Moscow. This happens far too early in the film and seems to be there purely on the grounds that the film has been going for 10 minutes and needs a bit of excitement. Actually, what's really needed is a bit of plot set up and basic characterisation; action sequences can come later.
To make matters worse, action sequences are not particularly well directed or edited. They simply become a mish-mash of tangled metal, people running around and confusing images. Worse still, they are so frequent that you just become totally disengaged. The writers seem to think that the success of Die Hard lies with lots of explosions; to them, plot and character development (which were actually quite important to the first two films at least) are irrelevancies.
When the plot finally does kick in, it's equally unappealing; a mix of the insultingly simple and the ridiculously convoluted (yet still insultingly obvious). It relies on far, far too many coincidences (which in the context of the film don't make a whole heap of sense) and just deepens that sense of disconnection.
As you might expect, A Good Day is desperate to prove its Die Hard pedigree and has a number of nods towards its more illustrious predecessors. However, simply playing a brief excerpt of music from the original movie and having the main bad guy die a bit like Alan Rickman does not a Die Hard film make.
The action also takes itself far too seriously. Whilst the original Die Hard films were exciting, they also showed plenty of black humour ("now I have a machine gun. Ho! Ho! Ho!"). This offset some of the more serious elements and added to the entertainment. With a more tongue in cheek approach, A Good Day could have worked, but the clumsy attempts at humour are so leaden footed that they just have you biting the seat in front of you in frustration.
The problem certainly doesn't lie with OAP (Older Action Person) Bruce Willis. He showed in Expendables 2 that he can still convince when it comes to running around and blowing stuff up. Here, the script forces him to be a shadow of his former self, even denying him his full catchphrase (as did Die Hard 4.0) in the quest to snare a more family friendly 12A rating. Willis himself is fine and you get exactly what you expect from him in a Die Hard film: lots of smirking, the occasional one-liner and bullets-aplenty. The trouble is the script doesn't give him the chance to play the John McClane of old. The original McClane was a (relatively) ordinary man in the wrong place at the wrong time. That's what made him such an appealing hero - all he was trying to do was protect his family. In A Good Day to Die Hard, he's become an Arnie wannabe, a killing machine who cannot be stopped. This robs McClane of all his humanity - the very thing that connected him to the audience in the first place.
If there are problems with the character of McClane, there are worse issues with the rest of the cast. Despite being a supposedly tough CIA undercover operative, his son Jack is (in the immortal words of Blackadder) wetter than a haddock's bathing costume. He doesn't look like he could survive in a children's playground, let alone the Russian underbelly. When McClane Snr taunts him and asks him does he want to cry, you wouldn't be at all surprised if he did. Worse still, Jai Courtney who plays him does not exactly set the acting world alight.
There's zero chemistry between himself and Willis. Even allowing for the fact that the film has an estranged father-son theme, there's no sense that these two people have ever met before, let alone spent their formative years together. Add in some unbelievably corny and trite dialogue (just count how many times Willis "hilariously" protests he's "on vacation") and things are not looking good.
The lack of a memorable bad guy doesn't help. The best Die Hards had a great, identifiable bad guy at their core - Hans Gruber in the original, Colonel Stewart in the sequel; even Simon Gruber in Die Hard With A Vengeance. Here, the supposed bad guy switches with such monotonous regularity (in a series of telegraphed "twists" that will fool no-one) that it's hard to remember (or care) who the current bad guy is. None of them make any sort of impression.
Pretty much the only good thing I can say about Die Hard is that only runs for 98 minutes (although arguably this is around 97 minutes too long), so it's not going to waste too much of your time. Everything else about it is just too grim to contemplate.
Die Hard 4.0 surprised many people by showing that there was still some mileage left in the Die Hard franchise despite Willis' age. A Good Day to Die Hard could be the series' equivalent of Batman & Robin - a film so awful it kills the franchise stone dead. On the evidence of this, that would be no bad thing.
A Good Day to Die Hard
Director: John Moore
Running time: Approx. 98 minutes
© Copyright SWSt 2013
It isn't very often that I and my husband go to see new releases as generally we struggle to get a babysitter but mainly because we actually don't really like the same sort of films. It was our anniversary on Valentine's Day and so a few days later managing to find a babysitter we used our Tesco vouchers in exchange for some cinema tickets, I really wasn't overly keen on watching this film but knew my Husband really wanted to see it so let him have the choice of film.
This film is the 6th in the Die Hard series and as I have only ever really liked one other Die Hard film I expected to be sat on my phone for most of the film but surprisingly that was not the case.
The film begins with John Mcclane (Bruce Willis) fining out his son has been arrested for many offences in Russia and even though he says his son is a troubled soul he decides that he is his son after all so he goes to Russia to try and save his son.
In Russia there is a trial about to take place where a high government official is incriminating a political prisoner so that he will be sentenced to death, Mcclane's son Jack is to testify against the prisoner as a bargain for him to get a lighter sentence for his own crimes.
There is a massive explosion whilst the prisoners are in the court room and they both escape, Jack jumps in a van and taking the prisoner with him drives out of an underground to come face to face with his father. A massive chase follows with Jack and the prisoner at the front, the government officials staff giving chase and then Mcclane running up behind.
I won't give anymore away except Mcclane saves his son at this point and it turns out his son is actually working for CIA and Mcclane has just interrupted a massive operation which has been running the past 3 years. The father and son team end up working together to defeat the bad guys with a lot of twists and turns in the process some of which are quite surprising.
The film is very farfetched and the duo should have been killed many times over by the end of the film but of course this is a film so this is not so. Mcclane has quite a comical part in the film and I think his one liners are what held my interest at the beginning of the movie but by about half way through I was actually pretty entertained. Jai Courtney who I had never actually heard of until this film plays Jack and I think he does a really great acting job, he is believable and deals with a range of emotions and makes you believe the character is feeling them.
As far as Die Hard films go this is my second favourite, I would happily watch the film again although it's never going to be on my top ten list. The special effects are amazing in the film and they really make it looks like a helicopter is shooting straight into a building and then later in the film a whole helicopter smashing into a building. This film blows so much up and it destroys a massive amount of vehicle and even buildings it obviously has had one mega budget.
I will give this film 4 out of 5, it has great acting, comedial value, great special effects but the film is farfetched to say the very least.