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New Release Review - A Good Day To Die Hard

Directed by: John Moore
Starring: Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney, Sebastian Koch, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Yuliya Snigir, Cole Hauser

Fifth installment in the blockbusting action franchise.

In Moscow we see a young man, who we later learn is John McClane's son Jack (Courtney), shoot dead a man in a crowded nightclub. Jack agrees to testify against political prisoner Yuri Komarov (Koch), in order to have his sentence reduced. Hearing of his son's plight, John McClane (Willis) heads to Moscow to intervene. At the courthouse, an elaborate escape is put into operation and Jack flees with Komarov in tow. John gives chase after his son and the mysterious men who seem to want him dead.
In the publishing world, there exists something known as an "ash-can copy", a publication produced for the sole reason of maintaining copyright on a title or its characters. Usually, the resulting publication isn't released for general consumption; instead all copies are incinerated, hence the label. In 1994, Roger Corman and Bernd Eichinger produced a 'Fantastic Four' movie for precisely this reason. The film is notoriously bad but at least the producers had the decency not to charge cinema-goers money for the "privilege" of viewing it. The people behind 'A Good Day To Die Hard', an ash-can movie if ever there was one, have no such scruples. We've grown accustomed to Hollywood's lack of respect for audiences but this fifth installment in an otherwise highly enjoyable franchise hits new lows.
It's difficult to fathom how Skip Woods' putrid script made it to the screen intact. His knowledge of European geography is embarrassing. In Woods' mind, Grenoble is in Switzerland and Chernobyl is just a short drive away from Moscow. In 2013 this is unforgivable. A quick bit of googling would have told him Grenoble is in France and the distance between Moscow and Chernobyl is roughly the same as that of New York and Chicago. Oh, and Woods, I hate to break it to you but, Chernobyl ISN'T IN F****** RUSSIA! The McClanes travel there having destroyed half of Moscow but manage to never meet any border checkpoints before crossing into Ukraine. He clearly has no knowledge of Russian literature, certainly not 'Chekhov's Gun' theory. This is one of the basic elements of storytelling. If a weapon is to be used, it must have been introduced to the audience at an earlier point (think the gadgets Q gives to James Bond). In this film, the McClane's get out of hairy situations by seemingly plucking guns out of thin air. At one point they literally seem to pull pistols out of their asses. Remember, as a kid, when you played "soldiers" and there was always that one annoying kid who made shit up as he went along so he could never be killed? That kid was f****** Woods. A quick look at this cretin's IMDB page tells me he's responsible for such travesties as 'The A-Team', 'Swordfish' and 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine'. Why are these people constantly given second chances?
Any notion of John McClane as a moral character goes out the window in the movie's first, horrifically directed, set-piece, as he causes the deaths of countless civilians, all while making wisecracks. "I'm on my vacation!" he grunts at least twenty times throughout the film. No John, you're not! You went there to help your son avoid a death sentence, remember? The producers certainly have no morals either or they wouldn't use Europe's greatest post-war disaster as a cheap plot-point. If Russians and Ukrainians didn't hate Americans already, they sure will after seeing this garbage. 
1/10
A Good Day to Die Hard (2013) on IMDb 7.5/10


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