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“A Good Day to Die Hard” – IMAX Experience – Review (NEGATIVE)

February 17, 2013

Screen shot 2013-02-17 at 9.10.11 PM“Die Hard” was the quint-essential smart action thriller of the 80s, it sky rocketed Bruce Willis to action hero stardom, and spawned a franchise beloved by millions. In 2007 a fourth installment was released, and while it left fans with a mixed bag of feelings, re-watching recently, it’s still very much a DIE HARD MOVIE.

This fifth installment has basically jumped the shark in every way that made the original such the classic that it is. Why did John McClane (or Willis for that matter) feel he had to be lunged into a spy thriller? It doesn’t make any fucking sense! I’m sorry, but it doesn’t!

Iconoclastic, take-no-prisoners cop John McClane (Willis), for the first time, finds himself on foreign soil after traveling to Moscow to help his wayward son Jack (Jai Courtney) – unaware that Jack is really a highly-trained CIA operative out to stop a nuclear weapons heist. With the Russian underworld in pursuit, and battling a countdown to war, the two McClanes discover that their opposing methods make them unstoppable heroes. From the heart of Moscow to the barrin Chernobyl, ain’t nothing to hot and heavy for the McClane boys…

…yeah, right! Ok, look, I’m gonna just say it, this movie was a quick cash for grab job. McClane said it best in one of his past movies, it’s always been about the money. And it shows in this hashed up story, but then again I expect nothing more or less from Skip Woods, the genius behind, “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” “The A-Team”. And John Moore in the directors chair this time around? At least Len Wiseman, who did “Live Free or Die Hard” was able to capture some of the classic magic of the originals. Moore seemed to just rape the franchise side ways and thrown in all the biggest and most annoying chaotic action you’ve ever seen.

I will give the movie credit on the action side of things, while it certainly doesn’t feel like a DIE HARD MOVIE, it handles the action well enough to enthuse a the hard core ACTION PACKED aficionados out there. The car stunts all through Moscow are some of the most impressive and hard hitting action scenes I’ve seen in quit some time. There were few times where it left me scratching my head wondering, how the fuck did they do that??? I saw this in digital IMAX, and for IMAX presentation, it will get the blood pumping. Lots of bangs and explosions! Plenty to go around if you’re in the mood for nonstop action.

But alas, people have come to see John McClane be John McClane, and it seems that the movie lacks in that department. Sure Bruce can smirk and look tough, but what happened to all the witty banter and uncomfortable jokes? That’s what made his character so memorable from the first movie. Even his infamous catch phrase comes off as awkward & stale, like it doesn’t belong, if anything it felt forced, and that was the final nail in the coffin for me. The way I see it is this, the filmmakers and Bruce have one more shot at making a great DIE HARD MOVIE.

Go back to the beginning, LITERALLY. Take it back to Nakatomi Plaza. Bring in a new ‘Gruber’, make it Hans & Simon’s father. He’ll be played by….Patrick Stewart (oh yes). We’ll call him Adolf Heinsburg Gruber, John will have a ball poking fun at that name. So, Heinsburg kidnaps the entire McClane clan and holds them hostage at Nakatomi Plaza, with some nuclear weapons, ready to blow up LA. And he’s toying with McClane nationally on the news, using a kidnapped news crew to broadcast the hostage situation at Nakatomi, and while we’re at it lets bring back Dick Thornburg (William Atherton). McClane makes his way back to LA and has to make it up to the tip top of Nakatomi facing all kinds of mayhem that Heinsburg has set up, sort of like “The Raid: Redemption”, but McClane-style. Finally when he makes it up there, facing off with the last Gruber, it leads into an epic battle, with Jack at his side and even Lucy (Mary Elizabeth Weinsted) & Holly (Bonnie Bedelia) are bitch slappin’ a couple of baddies. McClane saves the day, but…with a cost…his life. We can end the series properly by having McClane helicopter out the nukes, saving LA one last time from terrorist mayhem and he’s the big Nakatomi Plaza hero again. It’ll be broadcast on national news, and the people who’ve teamed with McClane in the past will be shown watching their TV’s, witnessing the true act of heroism by John, and I’m talking Sgt. Powell (Reginald VelJohnson), Captain Lorenzo (Dennis Franz), Zeus (Samuel L. Jackson), Matt Farrell (Justin Long), and even the fucking Warlock (Kevin Smith). It’ll be beautiful, and a proper end to a beloved franchise.

GRADE: D

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 17, 2013 11:30 pm

    A poor story, like the characters, but with a good start and entertaining that will be laughable and inconsistent. Still, disappointing. Good review.

  2. Mr K permalink
    August 25, 2013 11:08 pm

    It is now in Tokyo,and probably the Nakatomi HQ is there too…Heard that Mcclane is now gained recommendation for the heroic act back in LA,so possibly Christmas Eve is by anniversary of the incident….
    It would be pleasure if Matt Farrell,Mcclane siblings,his wife,Zeus Carver and all others might be join in the fun!!!Furthermore,the former seems to be Lucy’s fiance now who really have feelings for her…He was now noble as he was really working within the law,probably Bowman as his boss(see Live Free or Die Hard..)

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