Friday, February 15, 2013

A Good Day to Die Hard review

If you read the reviews by other film critics of A Good Day to Die Hard, you would thing it was the second coming of Plan 9 From Outer Space. There are always the line by critics of a movie that it doesn't have a plot. But A Good Day to Die Hard does have a plot. And it's a good one. So the next question is whether the film is any good?

A Good Day to Die Hard starts out with New York policeman, John McClane (Bruce Willis) traveling to Russia to see his son, Jack (Jai Courtney) who seems to be in legal trouble. We learn that Russia is about to have a trial of a former government scientist, Yuri Komarov. (Sebastian Koch) He's being pressured to give up an incriminating file by a corrupt official, Chagarin (Sergei Kolesnikov) But Jack is really a CIA agent whose mission is to evacuate Komarov. McClane accidentally stumbles on Jack and Komarov as they are trying to get away from assassins. And after a long car chase, the three flee to a CIA safe house where they plan to find a way out of the country.

Bruce Willis returns as McClane for the fifth time since the first Die Hard. And frankly, it's clear the part holds no interest for him. His wisecracks in this movie are tired and became condescending. Jai Courtney is good in a tough guy role but he's given very little to do. But any problems with the dialogue lie with screenplay writer, Skip Woods. Sebastian Koch's Komarov is very good as an old Russian scientist making an attempt to expose corruption.

But A Good Day to Die Hard suffers from the disease that bad modern action movies have. Director John Moore uses handheld camera and fast cutting to punch up the action. But why? The car chase in Moscow suffered severely because Moore won't keep the camera still and the cuts add to the chaos. It's hard to follow the action. A good car chase allows the audience to get a feel of where the cars are going. The speed and collisions of the car chase are enough. Instead, Moore doesn't trust the audience. Another example where the fast cutting sabotages the movie is where Jack and McClane are about to get executed. On their knees, Jack is able to overpower his captors. But the problem was Moore doesn't stage the scene well and basically lets his editor tell the story. The result? One wonders how Jack overpowered the bad guys. It was disjointed. Another problem with Moore's direction is that actions scenes have no build up. Most of the time, they're thrust upon you. The result is that the movie is at times, a confusing mess.

Look, A Good Day to Die Hard is not bad movie. I found the plot interesting enough to keep my attention. That makes it an okay time waster. The grade is B minus.

Note that the film trailers have different dialouge than the movie.

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