When I was growing up and still now one of my favorite kids of movies is the Action Buddy Comedy. There is just something enduring about two people thrown together in an impossible situation and finding humor in it. It doesn’t hurt that there are typically lots of explosions and car chases in these movies. The Die Hard series has been a staple in the action comedy arena with 4 solid hits. This brings us to the 5th entry into the Die Hard franchise “A Good Day to Die Hard”
“John McClane travels to Russia to help out his seemingly wayward son, Jack, only to discover that Jack is a CIA operative working to prevent a nuclear-weapons heist, causing the father and son to team up against underworld forces.” – IMDB
That short blip taken from IMDB about sums up the whole movie. There is not a lot here if you are looking for an enthralling story line the Die Hard franchise and especially this movie is not going to be for you. Now if you looking for a white knuckle 20+ minute car chase, helicopters blowing up buildings and lots and lots of explosions then this will be a pretty fun ride.
This Die Hard takes place in Russia and takes you as deep as Chernobyl. It was kind of a nice change to go outside the US and see John in the world. They did it in the only semi believable way using the pretense of seeing his son in a Russian jail.
Bruce Willis is John McClane there is no doubt that Willis pulls this off each and every time McClane steps on the screen. This movie has all the trapping of John McClane. The quirky one liners the introspective comments and at times running commentary with himself that I love about the character.
One of the key components to the buddy action movie is the chemistry between the buddies. I think here is where this movie falters a little. The selection of Jai Courtney to play John’s son Jack was a mistake. I don’t think he has the acting chops to play opposite such an established character as John McClane. Maybe that was not his fault and more the writing but still at least for me he did not work for this part. Based on there on screen chemistry from Looper I think Joseph Gordon-Levitt would have been a much better choice.
This brings us to the villains which in Die Hard have always been over the top larger than life characters. That is not to say they have ever had any real depth but let’s face it do they have to in a Die Hard movie they always die extremely hard deaths. This movie is no different in that respect. However it is interesting that there are multiple layers of baddies in this one. This movie tries at a little misdirection in that you think Chargarin a Russian politician played by Sergey Kolesnikov is the boss baddie but he is more a plot device to move the story along. The real boss baddie is Komarov played by Sebastian Koch who does a wonderful job of the good guy fade to super evil boss. I think however all the bad guys were over shadowed by the bad girl Irina Komarov played by the stunning Yuliya Snigir which from what I can tell was her first American film. She brought the attitude and the sex appeal to make Irina the stand out villain and I would have love to see here Live to Die another Day.
As a child of 80s it is nice to see Russian villains with nukes there is something comforting about the enemy you know.
As the action sequences go you could not ask for more from an action movie. Pretty within the first 30 minutes of the movie there is a 20+ minute car chase where they crush, crunch and explode many cars. I lost count at 30 cars. Then there is the gun play which is the Die Hard bread and butter. Let’s not forget the McClane beat down. No Die Hard movie is complete with John McClane becoming a bloody mess and this movie delivered in a big way.
So here is my final word on A Good Day to Die Hard. Go see it if you’re a fan off the series, Bruce Willis or just general mayhem and explosions. If you’re looking for a plot than this is not the movie for you.
Yippie Kay Yay Mother Russia!!!