A Good Day To Die Hard directed by, John Moore and scripted by, Skip Woods, is the worst action film I have ever seen, I have named the two people I believe to be fully responsible for this yippee-ki-nay instalment to my favourite franchise so you know who to address your angry letters to (If you email them to me I could print them off and combine postage?).
It’s the kind of film that makes me wonder if at any point that they realised they were making a film capable of giving me a nosebleed. Usually I try to be objective with my reviews and look at each film from both sides, but I just can’t this time. If you liked this film, you won’t like this review.
A Good Day follows respected action hero, John McClain (Bruce Willis) who travels to Russia to help his estranged son, Jack (Jai Courtney) with his criminal conviction. McClain is able to drop everything at a moment’s notice so he can “go on vacation” to a prison and cause the worst traffic jam Moscow has ever seen.
I would like to point out that John McClain is not “on vacation” – since when does going to see your son in a Russian prison turn into a jolly holiday? Well done Skip Woods, that was your first mistake, what was wrong with “this is not my day” or a good old fashioned Roy Rodgers reference? All of the alcoholism and failed marriage clearly turned McClain into a malfunctioning one liner robot whose mission is to kill anyone who stops him engaging in father-son-bonding. I preferred John when he was hanging out of his arsehole with shards of glass stuck in his feet. Hell, I even preferred him stuck in an airport failing to save the caricatures of British tourists.
I’ll take out the power core of my T1-JOHN for just a moment to talk about some other things that were seriously wrong with this film. So, without putting too many spoilers in this already spoiled film (I appreciate that some people might still want to watch it). It turns out that Jack is actually not a criminal, yay! Instead he is an undercover CIA agent doing as John so eloquently puts it “spy shit” with a mission to retrieve a file that will incriminate the big baddie, Viktor Chagarin (Sergei Kolesnikov). After having the longest ‘I want to lob some cars about’ chase scene they get in a car and drive, yes drive, to Chernobyl.
Chernobyl has a lot of radiation and stuff, cause it had a, like, I dunno something go wrong? And it’s totally in the same day driving distance from Moscow, right? Said nobody ever. Apart from John Moore and Skip Woods, who also decided that the whole not being able to stay there for long periods of time was boring, so they invented a G.I. Joe style device that completely removes the radiation, which is handy to have around when you want to belittle one of the worst disasters the world has known. I hear they have a contraption that can go back in time and melt the iceberg that sunk The Titanic too.
To make matters even more ridiculous the device gets damaged in a gunfight but everyone carries on regardless and don’t seem to be affected by the rising levels of harmful radiation, I’m no Scientist but isn’t that… not possible?
Jack takes after his father with his one liners, but these ones cut to the core of you and are the real emotional element of the film. John decides that during every action sequence and rampage of killing innocent people without any sign of remorse that he will try and talk through years of problems with his son. For example, while the bodies of ‘collateral damage’ people and exploded cars pile up around them, John asks his son: “what’s with all the ‘John’ shit?” and wonders “what ever happened to ‘Dad’?” to which Jack replies “good question”. Ouch. That hurt me in my feels.
As a closing thought, I would like to look back on the golden days when Bruce Willis had hair, and not remember when that hair fell out and his standards went along with it, I would like to remind the Die Hard fans out there that the old John McClain who “knows what a T.V dinner feels like” and the bad guys who don’t admit that they “could have been a dancer” and come armed with a machine gun rather than a nonsensical radiation blocking devices, are immortalised on VHS, DVD and Blu-Ray for us all to enjoy. Only watch A Good Day to Die Hard if you think that particular day is A Good Day To Get An Aneurism.