Bruce Willis (Moonrise Kingdom) may well be knocking on the door of his 60th birthday, but if A Good Day to Die Hard is anything to go by, he can still yippee kai yay with the best of the now ageing action heroes from the eighties. While the movie was never going to really stack up against the original Die Hard movie, or even the second in the series, but it is a fun DVD watch nonetheless. It’s not exactly a must own like the first two, but for die hard fans it’s probably not a bad shout.
The latest the Die Hard franchise is set in the cold streets of Moscow with John heading out to hunt down his prodigal son, also named John, but called Jack by his dad (played by Jai Courtney). When he arrives to find his son imprisoned and giving evidence against political prisoner, Yuri Kolorov, he thinks the worst, but when all hell breaks loose the two are thrown together to save the day.
There’s sadly no whiff of the original John McClane vulnerability of the previous movies. Here John seems pretty self assured and indestructible, with no hint of desperate heroism or potential for it all to go wrong. This takes away a lot of the character from the film, because you don’t feel like you need to will them on, they’ve got this one covered.
The dialogue was also a big part of the Die Hard magic and in all fairness it isn’t terrible in the new movie, but it does lack the sharpness of the Steven E. de Souza screenplays for 1 and 2. There’s still a good level of wry humour though, especially with the new father and son interchanges mingled with Kolorov and his daughter Irina’s (Yuliya Snigir) dialogue.
The biggest negative for the longevity of the DVD though is the over the top nature of stunts and special effects, which grates on the first viewing, but will become laughable in no time. There’s a subtle line between big action stunts and effects and overblown idiocy and in A Good Day to Die Hard that line gets crossed one too many times. With no regard for the laws of physics
While A Good Day to Die Hard may not be a classic it is a fun action DVD that in the very least will deliver a little chunk of nostalgia for the beginnings of the John McClane series. Bruce Willis is great at making impossible odds believable, but here it’s a case yippee kai yay mother Russia as he and Jai smash everyone up like they weren’t even there.
A Good Day to Die Hard review: 3.1/5