Rant and Rave: ‘A Good Day to Die Hard’

By Kim Ho Jae

Rating: 1.0

The newest installment to the much awaited Die Hard series returns with retired cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) uttering “I’m on [expletive] vacation!” as he, along with his son, Jack (Jai Courtney), along with some Russian bad guys, merrily destroy and obliterate every car, building, and nuclear plant that gets into their way.

Directed by John Moore and written by Skip Woods and Roderick Thorps, the movie plunges down into sheer disappointment, and at a certain point you wonder as to why the movie is so bad. The plot was predictable and platitudinal, with characters that are left with bland, unimaginative dialogue, leaving the explosions and car crashes the only standing reason to call this an “action” movie. Why the movie had to have endless bombardments of car after car and building after building is a mystery, but the movie truly deserves a round of applause for being faithful and affectionate to its dear title, Good Day to Die Hard, for the characters technically massacred every citizen and let them taste what it’s like to actually “Die Hard”.

The director and scriptwriters’ poor attempt to mix in family values into the plot, especially with John McClane and his beefcake issue-laden son comes off as awkward, absurd, and destructive for the dynamic of the movie, if it ever had one. Despite all these imperfections, all the explosions, awkward father-son talk, senseless gun shooting, and non-sense plot filler action twists, they seem to come together as actually comedic and appealing at a certain point. Sadly, the movie’s doses of strange humor and style does not save it from being the failed “big return” movie that it sought to be.

The movie clearly showed that its only goal was to make a sequel and not actually revive the Die Hard series. The characters did not have much depth, antagonists were way over dramatic and unnecessarily so, John and John Jr. were just too nonchalant with their wounds and gore for their own good, risking their lives with every jump they take, and the magical writer gods of Hollywood saving them every time. The return of the Die Hard series could have been a great revival of John McClane, but all it makes is a limpy extension that is not pleasing to the franchise, much like On Stranger Tides is to the Pirates of the Caribbean series.

In the end, after all is done, the reunion of John’s family cost hundreds or even thousands of harmless citizens’ deaths in the explosions. The air of justification in the movie, the attitude as if hundreds of lives of irrelevant people from the situation are less significant and as if such deaths are the essence of an action movie is totally repulsive and frightening at the same time. Overall, with a crude plot, with senseless characterization, and with annoyingly constant exploding scenes, the producers better give the senior citizen John the vacation he so wishes to have, or rather let him retire from the Police Department. He is, after all, on [expletive] vacation. The series should consider following suit.

The LaSallian

By The LaSallian

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