‘A Good Day to Die Hard’ Sucks Away Your Will to Live
SCORE: 1 star (out of 4)
At the ripe old age of 279, Bruce Willis is now about as believable an action star as his daughter, Rumer. His latest movie, A Good Day to Die Hard, flushes away any credibility by showing his John McClane character arm-wrestling helicopter blades, plunging through sheets of skyscraper plate glass and dodging hailstorms of AK-47 bullets and emerging without a scratch.
Everyone knows no one over the age of 250 can survive all that. Oh, Hollywood.
Manage to suspend your disbelief and you’ll realize that it’s great that there’s another Die Hard movie out, because the last three sequels in the series, though they were of such incredible quality, left many important questions unanswered. Like, what would happen if McClane teamed up with a son played by a no-name actor and they went through Russia killing everyone who spoke English with a Russian accent?
Well, I guess that was the only question the Die Hard sequels left unanswered. But boy, does this movie answer that question. It proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the best way for an estranged daddy and his boy to make things right is to get together for an outing of skeet shooting with former Soviets as the targets.
Jai Courtney, runner-up of the hit competition show Who Wants to Be the Next Star of an Unnecessary Action Sequel? plays John’s boy, Jack McClane, who is off in Russia working out his daddy issues and sitting in one of the country’s many explosion-prone court rooms. John, looking to make up for missing one of Jack’s soccer games in 1995, swoops in to make things right with a daring rescue.
John can be forgiven for neglecting his boy, because we’ve seen all 400 Die Hard movies and never realized he had a son, either. And he should be forgiven any offense for having to endure the ignorant nonsense that passes for a plot as he helps Jack slaughter hapless Russian bad guys with poor aim. The story has something to do with a lost file, a secret CIA agent, the Chernobyl disaster and — I’m not sure about this — but I think that really ugly painting of Kate Middleton.
Skip Woods is credited as the screenwriter, but I’m pretty sure he copied it off of the Catch Phrase edition of Mad Libs you might remember from fourth grade.
At least Woods has a potential alibi, though. Not so for director John Moore, who was also responsible for the atrocities Behind Enemy Lines (2001), Flight of the Phoenix (2004), The Omen (2006) and Max Payne (2008). You only pick this guy to direct your movie if you want to make absolutely sure it will suck.
Willis is squint-eyed and angry throughout the movie, and not just because he’s as old as he is, yet still feels the financial need to keep making these movies. Every now and then he snaps out of his grizzled daze and looks around in bemused horror, as if he can’t believe this is happening. Everyone in the theater can sympathize.
Starring Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney, Sebastian Koch, Yuliya Snigir and Cole Hauser. Written by Skip Woods. Directed by John Moore. 97 minutes. Rated R.