John Moore takes over directing duties for the completely unnecessary fifth installment in the Die Hard series titled, A Good Day to Die Hard. This R-rated entry is the loudest one yet, substituting pure noise and confusion for what used to be a fun and action-packed series. A Good Day to Die Hard is the worst Die Hard yet, because it attempts to both be serious and silly, never finding that right balance and almost always copping out any sort of character advancement for a quick one-liner by the bored and sleepy Bruce Willis.
In the film, John McClane (Bruce Willis) sets out for Russia to find his son Jack (Jai Courtney). Almost minutes after arriving John somehow gets involved in a disastrous car chase that results in lots of damaged property. From there he continues to get in the way of virtually everyone on-screen, while occasionally cracking a joke about this all being part of his vacation.
That’s about as far as the plot of A Good Day to Die Hard goes. Bruce Willis’ infamous John McClane is simply trying to reconnect with his son, but instead of finding some much-needed father-son bonding time he simply stands in the way and occasionally tries to help. John and Jack don’t exactly make a good team, but they get things done when needed.
A Good Day To Die Hard is a complete disaster from the opening gate. Director John Moore approaches the film with a gritty look and feel, which maybe was established to steer the series back towards its R-rated roots, but none of that matters when he follows his opening with some of the worst-filmed highway action scenes known to Hollywood. Moore doesn’t know how to stabilize a camera, let alone function one. This film can really only be described as noise, expensive noise with absolutely no rhyme or reason.
Scenes exist not to further the plot or the characters, but to make room for half-assed action. The practical effects look great, but mean zilch when things are just suddenly blowing up for no reason. And it’s not like Moore is a follower of Michael Bay. Say what you want about Bay, but at least he can shoot with a little fluidity. Moore copies the ever-so-popular technique known as shaky cam and he makes matters worse with the darkly lit sets and constantly gritty and ugly-looking locations.
Bruce Willis isn’t John McClane in this film either. He’s Bruce Willis attempting to act like what the modern age thinks is John McClane. It’s annoying and he clearly doesn’t give a shit about the movie. It’s nothing more than a paycheck for him, plain and simple.
Jai Courtney tries to join the franchise as McClane’s son Jack, but he goes as far as the material allows him to. He’s the least-hated actor in the film, but that simply means that you don’t want to rip his head off right away, but more towards the end credits.
A Good Day to Die Hard has no business being this bad of a film. Quality action movies are getting harder and harder to find, because directors seem to think that going the over-the-top route means that you don’t need to pay attention to anything aside from your budget and VFX. It takes skill and timing to pull a film like this off and John Moore clearly doesn’t have either.
He’s essentially made one of the dullest films of the year and the absolute worst Die Hard yet. The bullets, cursing or constant need to up the last action sequence mean squat in a film that doesn’t even know why it exists. There’s no plot, no point and no value to be found in this pathetic excuse of a movie.
Fox brings the film to Blu-Ray with a 1080p video transfer that captures the dark colors and intentionally gritty and rough style almost perfectly. I’m not sure why Moore and his crew went for this unique look and feel for a Die Hard film, but it certainly pops on Blu-Ray, despite everything looking ugly and unappealing to the eyes. Greens and blues fill up most of this film, with occasional bright spots whenever there’s an explosion.
The 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is very loud and very engaging. This is a mindless film and luckily for us Fox has delivered with an intense audio track that highlights only the loud gunshots and explosions and not so much the chit-chat. Dialogue isn’t ever a problem on the front channels, but most of your attention will be on the back channels, which are constantly spitting out activity.
Here’s a list of bonus material found in this combo pack:
- Theatrical & Extended cuts of the film.
- Audio Commentary
- Deleted Scenes (HD)
- Making It Hard To Die (HD)
- Anatomy of a Car Chase (HD)
- Two of a Kind (HD)
- Back in Action (HD)
- The New Face of Evil (HD)
- Pre-Vis (HD)
- VFX Sequences (HD)
- Storyboards (HD)
- Concept Art Gallery (HD)
- Theatrical Trailers (HD)
- DVD Copy
- UltraViolet Digital Copy
A Good Day to Die Hard is a horrible movie. It’s void of any actual joy. This isn’t a fun popcorn flick by any means and is instead a pointless cash in on a name. Bruce Willis doesn’t care about the character anymore and clearly Fox doesn’t either, so why should we? John Moore proves yet again why he should never be allowed a budget or a camera and Jai Courtney occasionally sparks as the only thing on the screen that you don’t always hate.
Fox has given this Blu-Ray a lot of bonus material to accompany the video transfer and audio track, which makes this a solid disc, if you factor out the actual quality of the film itself. Personally though, I wouldn’t bother with A Good Day to Die Hard, because there are hundreds of better action films out there that you could be putting your time into.
A Good Day to Die Hard is the worst Die Hard yet; substituting loud, noisy and sloppily-filmed action for what used to be one of Bruce Willis' more entertaining roles. Stay far away from this film.