FILM REVIEW: A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD (12A)

What an absolutely sacrilegious way to treat one of the most beloved franchises of all-time.

Bruce Willis must have simply returned for the payday in this messy action film that bears little or no resemblance to the John McClane we know and – for a lot of people anyway – love.

It’s no wonder he looked so disinterested on his recent The One Show appearance – him complaining about bizarrely titled fifth instalment was the least of its worries.

This is simply not a good day for the man – who brought us ‘The best action film ever TM’ with the 1988 original – simply treading water in this Moscow-set actioner, and he seems like he can’t wait to get home to count his cash.

This is arguably the first ‘banner’ title of the year, and pales in comparison to January’s Oscar-competing releases – with no heart and a clichéd script that would have been lucky to get an ‘F’ at GCSE Drama.

Granted, the sequels got progressively sillier after the five-star first film – even Vengeance and 4.0 were entertaining despite their flaws – but this is nothing short of a blatant cash-in that isn’t worthy of the Die Hard name.


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This time McClane goes to Mother Russia in search of his recently incarcerated son Jack (the very wooden Jai Courtney from TV series Spartacus: War of the Damned), who then turns out to be a CIA agent protecting Commie turncoat Komarov (Sebastian Koch), who is about to spill the beans on the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

To make things worse the film has been cut to a ‘12A’ certificate for the UK market from its ‘R-rated’ US rating (which should have meant at least a ‘15’), and only really boasts a generic car chase, a couple of action (including one fairly decent) set-pieces and an okayish twist.

It has also been slashed to barely ninety minutes – by far the shortest Die Hard film – and that was more than enough for this brainless slice of action.

And even when the trademark McClane humour kicks in – you’re so disappointed it’s hard to even raise a snigger.

As a standalone action movie it may have been just passable, but this is the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull of the franchise – and simply wish they had never made it.

It would probably be best for the series to now die, but here’s hoping at some point they’ll complete the second trilogy with a final film worthy of the name: John McClane – one of the finest action heroes of the last generation.

Gavin Miller

Cast: Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney, Sebastian Koch, Yullya Snigir, Radivoje Bukvic, Cole Hauser, Sergei Kolesnikov, Roman Luknar, Mary Elizabeth Winstead

Running Time: 1hr 35mins

Director: John Moore [youtube id=”QsQXzfyhyyg” width=”600″ height=”350″]


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