You know the last place John McClane should be? Anywhere outside of the United States. He’s the modern day cowboy who kills terrorists apparently nonstop. America is John McClane’s playground. Taking McClane out of America is about as smart as taking James Bond out of England. Which brings us to why A Good Day to Die Hard was destined to fail.

John hears that his son Jack is in deep shit in Russia. That Jack has a laundry list of charges against him; John’s told his boy will be lucky to get life. Being the loving father he is, McClane gets his ass to Russia. He makes his way into the courtroom where his son’s trial is taking place. John’s soon greeted by his old friend, the massive explosion. John manages to catch his son, only to discover Jack’s been working for the CIA, and that John fucked up a mission Jack’s been working on for three years.

A Good Day to Die Hard is one of those flicks where it helps to shut your brain off just a little. I saw the film with my girlfriend who knows some Russian as well as science-y shit. I would not recommend going to this film with anyone who knows about either of these topics. I proceeded to hear how some of the English subs were wrong, and about how ridiculous the ending in Chernobyl is. I’m not a complete moron; I have a rudimentary knowledge of nuclear energy. Even I knew there’s no such thing as a gun which can get rid of nuclear radiation. But yeah, the science is way off, and apparently Chernobyl had a sign out front which said “gymnasium,” according to my girlfriend source.

But let’s be real. No one goes to a Die Hard film for logic. You go to see shit get blown up, and to see a man somehow survive things which should have killed him a thousand times over. And he does! There’s a great car chase, a gnarly jump out a window, and all manner of shootouts. So, we get some good action. Perhaps it got a little abusive with the slow mo, but it fits well with the action sequences.

The main problem with the film is we have no discernable bad guy. Every Die Hard before 5 has had someone you can point at, and gleefully await the death of. There isn’t exactly a main dude in this flick. There’s someone who is close, but he’s not the guy in charge. The main bad guy appears to be a politician. This just doesn’t work for a Die Hard. John can’t just go kill a politician by tossing him off a building. The ambassador to Russia would have an aneurysm! And there’s also a twist as to who the villain is, so you don’t have the satisfying full length of film longing for a good kill.

Every time an action franchise has a sequel, they decide the star of the show needs someone new. In Live Free or Die Hard we had a computer geek played by Justin Long. This worked, for McClane was still running the majority of business. But in AGDTDH, the action is shared between McClane and his son. I’m sorry, but McClane’s son is boring. He doesn’t even have any good snazzy one-liners!


But there’s also a lot of this, so it’s a wash.

As the title of this review implies, being drunk is probably the way to go with this one. Just make sure you’re responsible, and get a DD who can drop you off and go see another movie while you get shitfaced and watch this trainwreck. It has plenty of explosions, and gunfire to keep you entertained. Just don’t expect it to make a ton of sense if you’re sober.

The whole film was worth it, for one slow motion shot where John flips the bird to someone while falling through the air. When I find said GIF, I will watch it ad infinitum.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mark-Pellegrini/500847776 Mark Pellegrini

    Like “Die Hard 4″, I left this was with a big ole “meh”. It was an average action movie, not spectacularly awful or anything… just really generic.

    I think the mistake 4 and 5 made is that they want to top 3 in terms of scale. 3 brought the conflict to a citywide scope and it worked as an epic sendoff to the trilogy, but the revival films keep wanting to do things bigger and bigger and John McClane gets lost in the spectacle. If they do a sixth, they really need to bring the series back to its roots: a cop, a bad guy and a building (I don’t care if it’s a high rise, an airport or a 7-11).

    These last two flicks have just felt like third rate James Bond or Bourne wannabes.

    What really did actively distract me about “A Good Day to Die Hard” is how utterly invincible McClane was to the point of stretching even my credulity in action movies. He survives two large scale car wrecks near the beginning without a scratch, falls for multiple stories off of buildings on several occasions, smashes through window after window, inhales lethal doses of radiation and is never any the worse for wear. I know, “plot armor” and all that and it isn’t like I expected our hero to die or anything, but when the guy’s pushing 60 the invincibility thing just doesn’t fly anymore. An “I’m too old for this shit” line here or there really isn’t enough to brush it under the rug.

    John McClane was a guy who agonized as he walked over broken glass in his bare feet. Now he’s a dude in his sixties who crashes a car at 60 mph, flips it a dozen times, crawls out of the twisted wreckage, then gets in another car and does the same thing again. To no ill effect except an exasperated “I’m too old for this shit”.

    Though after the whole Chernobyl setting, I do look forward to “Die Hard 6: It’s a Good Day For Chemotherapy”.