Feb. 20, 2013 - Issue #905: DOA No more - Trading in punk for politics
A Good Day to Die Hard
That's not what happens, though. This time out, the film takes McClane out of the US and lands him on Russian soil, where it turns out his son Jack (Jai Courtney) is a CIA agent working to get a hold of ... whatever. It really doesn't matter. Even a late-game plot twist barely registers, coming across as random and pointless beyond offering an excuse for a few more big explosions.
There's no character development in sight. Pale inside nods to the past films (McClane grumbling "I'm on vacation" or his son insisting "Your thing is killing bad guys") pass quickly and with barely a comedic ripple, and the only things that come close to an effort to sketch some new lines into the character are either odd—an exchange with a Russian taxi driver where McClane grins condescendingly at the cabbie's Frank Sinatra impression—or awkward—a series of parenting tips that feel like they could have been lifted from a how-to-be-a-good-parent pamphlet.
The film wastes no time getting to the first explosions, and from there on it doesn't bother with either a sense of space or character, content to fall into a predictable pattern of fast cuts and snippets of wannabe-snappy dialogue. None of it works. Whereas the series has up to now given Willis something to chew on as McClane, here he has nothing at all, left with little recourse but to grit his teeth whenever the camera does rest on him for a moment. For the first time in the series, it would be a simple matter to change the character's name and cast another actor in the role without losing anything. This is a Die Hard film in name only, but it's a terrible movie right down to the bottom of its very shallow soul.
Opens Now playing
Directed by: John Moore
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