Monday, February 18, 2013
A Good Day to Die Hard (Movie Review)
Perplexing to think that there have been five of these films and the formula still works, bargain if you care for middling supporting characters that fail to rival the genius of Hans Gruber from the original Die Hard. A Good Day to Die Hard (yes, that’s the actual title) is the latest installment of the series that has managed to outlive its worth. While I didn't enjoy the character depth of the supporting cast nor the forgettable plot, I was able to forgive the insipid activity of the action sequences; they do have a charming place within the franchise. The setting is in Russia, where John McClain’s son, Jack, is on a mission from the CIA to prevent the prosecution of a whistle blower. Then, like in every Die Hard film, McClain Sr. has to welcome us all back into the party and witness wise cracks, one-liners and charm. Bruce Willis, to his credit does a good job of making his venerable protagonist relevant in a digital age and looks good doing it too at the spry age of 58; Pretty impressive. Though, the biggest flaw with the setting is that we never get a proper introduction to Moscow (the film’s setting); and, there’s no sense of patience as there seems to be no kind of stoppage in the action; it’s as if the writer infused no pacing. Director John Moore tries too hard at modernizing a dying genre with outplayed elements (i.e. slow-motion) to exists as a destructive playground for us to witness. There’s a chase scene that, at times, defies the laws of physics with weight distribution and collision detection. Example, say you’re chasing down a 4x4 monster truck and an SUV challenges it to a game of bumper tag. The SUV, amazingly, manages to take down the four-wheeler by trapping it into a ramp. But, yeah, that really DID happen in my verbal dramatization of the sequence that I referred to. Logic officially left my mind, from that point; and, when I didn't care for a proper introduction or a decent plot device, Die Hard 5 manages to be entertaining, regardless. That scene and its visually distracting climax are funny in their individual inanity. Jai Courtney, who plays the son of John McClain, is serviceable without being too much of a burden to the McClain legacy, so to speak. Mary Elizabeth Winstead does return from the fourth film, though in a lesser role here. German actor Sebastian Koch plays the whistle blower and does an OK job with what he has to deal with, it’s just too bad that he’s bare. Now that I've covered, exhaustively, how confusing things are in this film and how it distorted my perception of reality, I did like it, despite how ridiculous things turned out, overall. The core villain (if you can tell who is the main antagonist) underwhelmed and the same for Jack McClain. The film does pay homage to the original film in sequences, which was cool, if unnecessary; but, if all you’re looking for is something that’s big, dumb and absurd, you’ll enjoy this film. Just be sure to turn your brain off in order to enjoy the nonsense.