A Good Day to Die Hard
Director: John Moore
Writer: Skip Woods
Sequel to: Die Hard, Die Hard 2, Die Hard: With a Vengeance, Live Free or Die Hard
Cast: Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney, Sebastian Koch, Yuliya Snigir, Radivoje Bukvic, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and about three delicious seconds of Aldis Hodge
John McClane (Bruce Willis) hasn’t heard from his son Jack (Jai Courtney) in years, and he now finds out that Jack has been arrested for murder in Russia. So John flies to Moscow to help, if possible. But as he arrives at the courthouse, a bomb explodes and Jack makes a run for it, together with political prisoner Komarov (Sebastian Koch). Turns out that there is more to the story than a delinquent son and John finds himself in the middle of it.
Oh boy. I think the most positive thing I can say about this movie that it’s at least not as racist and misogynistic as Live Free or Die Hard. But everything else… No. Just no. There is really nothing redeeming about it.
I think it was within the first minute that I turned to @kathrintha and said something like, “they need to take the coffee away from the camera man!” Because seriously, the camera kept moving about as if they were still trying to frame the picture perfectly while the director had already given the go-ahead for the actors. It’s the same crap that happened in Les Misérables and I really don’t care for it. And it didn’t stop, but went on and on throughout the entire film. Dear Jonathan Sela: just because the actors move doesn’t mean the camera has to, too.
But even apart from the camera work, the film was just really sloppily made. They mostly didn’t manage to create any sense of space, which is jarring during chase scenes, and when they did, the movements of the characters didn’t make any sense. So you got people beaming their way through entire hotel complexes, for example.
So, the camera sucked and the action sucked. If at least the script hadn’t sucked, too! But the plot is ridiculous and riddled with holes, the dialogues are amazingly crappy and it all just made the film feel about three times as long as it actually was.
The best moment in the entire film is when John’s cell phone rings and his ringtone is Ode to Joy. Nice callback, that one. There is a second nice short scene where John, Jack and Komarov ride the elevator to the ballroom, Girl of Ipanema playing in the background. [On a sidenote: I doubt that they’d have muzak in a service elevator. And when did it happen that Girl of Ipanema became the shorthand for muzak?] But neither that, nor Jai Courtney’s pretty is enough to make the movie worth seeing.
Summarising: They should have stopped after Die Hard: With a Vengeance.