A Good Day to Die Hard (2013)

dh5Twenty-five years. And look where we are. You know, its a telling exercise to compare the original Die Hard from 1988 and this new, fifth entry in the series, and to use that as a demonstration of how bad films are getting. Back in 1988 we had a fairly down-to-earth, tense action film with a charismatic anti-hero in realistic fights and believable action sequences. A film with twists and surprises, a great villain, a steady pace building to a great finale. Here we are in 2013 and what do we get? We get a deranged shaky-cam movie edited down to within an inch of its nonsensical plot, with a detached, uninvolved lead character, in a series of increasingly daft and ever increasingly spectacular cgi-filled action sequences, with a non-entity token villain. Its just what I was saying a few posts ago about Bigger, Louder, Dumber… its all modern film-makers seem to know. Its as if they are a bunch children with a big toy set not knowing which button to press first. Did anyone actually direct this heartless, soul-less monstrosity? Did anybody actually sit down and write this vacuous plot? I’m not actually convinced on either count. There is no soul, no heart. These movies are just huge machines devouring any character arc, any plot… its all very ugly, and few things are uglier than how this once great action franchise has been twisted and chewed up and spat out.

There were many fans who thought that Die Hard 4.0 was a terrible film and the worst possible film of the franchise.  A Good Day to Die Hard seems to have been made with the sole intention of proving those fans wrong. This, the film-makers seem to be saying, is how to make a bad Die Hard movie, this film shows how good Die Hard 4.0 really is, this film shows how bad modern action movies have become. Its like a mad huge twisted cartoon with cgi action-men throwing themselves out of helicopters and off skyscrapers and dodging bullets and smashing vehicles and… well, its a triumph of excess and another nail in the action genre coffin. On the evidence of this film, it’s all a video-game now.

4 thoughts on “A Good Day to Die Hard (2013)

  1. I’ve not seen this one yet, but I knew it was going to be bad as soon as they chose the director: John Moore, who helmed the godawful Max Payne and before that the poorly-received Omen remake.

    I’m sure there’s someone out there who could make a wonderful new Die Hard film, but for whatever reason the producers and/or Willis seem more interested in going down the ridiculous route.

    But then, some people seem to be happy to throw their money at such thinking. For instance, when it was announced the UK was getting a truncated 12A version of this, at least one commenter I saw was happy because that meant he could take his son, apparently oblivious to the notion that not every movie (or every franchise) should be designed as a father-son day out.

    1. It just shows how so much is wrong with films these days. On the one hand, “A Good Day to Die Hard” is a very bad misfire of a film, with a director unfit for purpose, frankly. On the other hand, we then have the distributor here in the UK doing further tinkering, cynically dropping the rating down to just get more bums on seats. Its “Taken 2” all over again, and no doubt because that film cleaned up they figured it was worth another go. But both things undermine the faith and goodwill of the die-hard (sorry!) fans of the franchise. Oh well. Here’s hoping that No.6 cracks it.

      1. Putting a softer cut in cinemas just seems to be a double bonus for distributors now, because they then manage to sell the “unrated cut” on home media to both fans who dodged the soft version and to fans who want to see what they missed. Sadly such blatant tactics seem to work.

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