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Mother Russia Explodes

A Good Day to Die Hard

Yipee Ki-Yay not another one!

Yipee Ki-Yay not another one!

Bruce Willis’s fifth attempt to resuscitate the Die Hard franchise 25 years after the original Die Hard, is very thin on plot and big on action. A Good Day to Die Hard features an explosive and riveting car chase sequence through the streets of Moscow and is perhaps the film’s only redeeming feature. The rest of the film through a very light story line attempts to reconnect Willis’s bad-ass New York cop character John MacClane with his slightly inexperienced son Jack MacClane  played by Jai Courtney last seen in the Tom Cruise thriller Jack Reacher.

A Good Day to Die Hard is pure action and lacks some of the witty one liners or plot twists of the previous Die Hard films, most notably Die Hard and Die Hard 3 failing to make the most of its best asset that of the location of Moscow in Russia, the first film to be set outside the United States.  A Good Day to Die Hard also does not feature a convincing villain and if the success of Skyfall is to go by, an evil villain really makes a truly successful hero.

Unlike Alan Rickman (Die Hard) or Jeremy Irons (Die Hard: With a Vengeance)  playing notable villains in the previous Die Hard films, this Russian mastermind Komarov played by German actor Sebastian Koch bent on robbing Chernobyl of a stockpile of uranium is entirely implausible. The only character to cast in depth of feeling is MacClane’s daughter Lucy played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead, but her part is minimal as the main focus shifts to explosive father, son male bonding enough to make Mother Russia cry as buildings, cars and half of Moscow are randomly destroyed.

Bruce Willis looks a bit old to be flying off exploding buildings and carry enough artillery to wipe out a small Caribbean nation, but then that said that is half the appeal for him appearing in such films as Red, The Expendibles 2 and the upcoming G I Joe sequel, GI Joe: Retaliation. Jai Courtney is marginally good as a CIA operative who is caught way out of his depth in a Moscow prison hostage negotiation which go completely awry.

The narrative gaps are just too great to make any real sense of what the purpose of making A Good Day to Die Hard other than milking an already average Die Hard Franchise way past its expiry date. This is baseless action, which is albeit entertaining but not deeply meaningful and should be treated as a great popcorn sequel, an inevitable money spinner that Hollywood is good at churning out despite the diminishing appeal by Willis as the main character John MacClane.

A Good Day to Die Hard is an idiots guide to making a sequel, with an obvious visual clue of MacClane leaving an American airport with a travel handbook, the Idiots Guide to Russia boarding an Aeroflot flight for Moscow. This film is only for real action fans and will definitely appeal to the male teenage target audience.

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