Try Harder with a Vengeance: A Review of A Good Day to Die Hard
Well, it’s easy to say that “A Good Day to Die Hard,” this new installment in the “Die Hard” franchise, is the weakest. But is it fun? Sometimes, yes, indeed it is. Director John Moore surely enjoyed staging some quite lovely sequences of slo-mo carnage (though that final slo-mo shot at the end made me laugh-out-loud in the theater, and not in a good way), and Bruce Willis and Jai Courtney (who plays his son, John “Jack” McClain Jr.) seem to be having a good time cracking wise while jumping from explosion to explosion. But a lot more could have been done with their father-son dynamic and the overall story.
Now most moviegoers won’t give a rat’s ass about story or character moments, but the small stuff is important too. Why do we care about John McClain (circa the original “Die Hard”) or someone like Indiana Jones? Because they seem human. Not so much in “A Good Day to Die Hard,” where John and son survive ridiculous car chase after gun battle after explosion, which all out-comic-book most comic-book movies. (Though, spoiler alert, poor Cole Houser couldn’t last more than five minutes in this world; he was taken out by a simple bullet!) So when did John McClain become Superman? That’s the question 20th Century Fox should ask themselves before dusting off these characters for the inevitable sixth installment, because I want more from my summer blockbusters. Even if they’re coming out in February. And I don’t feel like that’s too much to ask for a more than $12 movie ticket, do you?
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