Monday, July 1, 2013

Film Review: A Good Day To Die Hard (2013)

A Good Day To Die Hard (Review)
United States/2013
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

John McClane's (Bruce Willis) son, Jack McClane (Jai Courtney), has been arrested for an assassination in Russia. Attempting to help and reconnect, John visits Russia and gets entangled in a terrorist plot of massive proportions.

A Good Day To Die Hard is a simple story. It starts off a bit confusing, but quickly straightens out. Basically, John McClane teams up with his son, Jack, to stop a terrorist plot. The pair often discuss their complicated past, and the consequences if they fail, but the bulk of the film is action. In fact, most of the dialogue consists of these short conversations, and a couple of one-liners. Meanwhile, the action consists of blazing shootouts, destructive chases, and trembling explosions. After a while, the action becomes repetitive, however, and this creates an exhausting experience. The ending is abrupt and unfulfilling. In fact, the story doesn't really feel connected, and many scenes feel insignificant.

The story has some elements of the previous installments of the franchise, but not enough. If it weren't for John McClane and the title of the film, A Good Day To Die Hard would not be in the same sentence as the previous installments. This installment feels lazy and rushed, missing the soul and vibe of the previous installments. Other aspects, which I'll soon get to, don't help the film in maintaining a relationship with the franchise. Aside from John McClane losing his charisma, the film never bothers to establish a real antagonist - a villain that will make you hate to love him. This film feels like every other action film released - big action sequences, little substance.

The acting is good. It's all believable and well-fitted, not overacted or underwhelming. Bruce Willis doesn't seem to have the same energy; he emits an almost "bored" feeling, which I eventually related to. Jai Courtney has a solid performance, a lot more energy than Willis and some charisma. The writing doesn't help the film stay within the franchise nor does it help establish its own identity, it's cliché and repetitive. Despite the great choreography, there isn't much variety in the action sequences; it really becomes boring watching the same sequence over and over, or for way too long. The cinematography is great, the use of vivid color is effective and eye-pleasing.

Overall, A Good Day To Die Hard is a decent action film. It doesn't quite reach the quality of the previous installments, but it does manage to moderately entertain. For fans of over-the-top action, this is a treat. For everyone else, this is a decent way to die hard. A rental is recommended.

Score: 5/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and blood.

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