A Good Day to Die Hard (2013) Directed by John Moore. With Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney, Sebastian Koch, Yulia Snigir, Cole Hauser and Mary Elizabeth Winstead.
The Die Hard series, while up-and-down in terms of quality, has nevertheless always been an entertaining ride – thanks mostly to Bruce Willis’ willingness to play along with the fun, wisecracking one-liners while simultaneously cracking skulls. For this fifth instalment in the series, the action moves to Russia, where John McClane is reunited with his estranged son Jack (Jai Courtney), for a bit of father-son bonding time with automatic weapons.
Sadly, it quickly becomes apparent that the series has run its course. In the central role, Willis looks completely fed-up. His peculiar behaviour promoting the film suggests that his heart was never in it, and his flat performance does nothing to dispel that overall feeling. Given that Willis is so disinterested with the material (what there is of it), Jai Courtney too struggles to gain any kind of traction for his character within the mayhem.
This is the sort of film that ought to come with a pair of earplugs, for amid the frankly trivial plot, all that seems to exist is a barrage of clattering noise that aims to batter you into submission – accompanied by shaky-cam, sickly greeny-brown visuals with characters mostly hidden in shadows, apathetically mumbling out the plot.
Considering how much the film must have cost, ($92m) and how much effort much have gone into staging some of the set-pieces, the end result is about as depressing as mainstream cinema gets. 1.5/5