Saturday 3 July 2021

Movie Review: A Good Day To Die Hard (2013)

A brainless action movie, A Good Day To Die Hard is a perfunctory effort callously exploiting a once proud brand.

A power struggle in Russia embroils dissident Komarev (Sebastian Koch) and defence minister candidate Chagarin. With Komarev about to go on trial but holding information potentially damaging to Chagarin, the CIA get involved, but a botched operation results in the arrest of agent Jack McClane (Jai Courtney).

His father John (Bruce Willis) heads to Russia to see how he can help, although father and son have a strained relationship. John is immediately thrust into the CIA's disorderly attempts to free Komarev, with the dissident's daughter Irina (Yulia Snigir) getting involved and a climax at the Chernobyl nuclear reactor site.

The bad signs appear early: plenty of Russian dialogue with no sub-titles, no attempt at weaving a compelling narrative, faceless bad guys with no personality, and the lunacy of an arrested American agent placed in the same Russian courtroom as a dissident.

In this fifth instalment of the Die Hard series, writer Skip Woods and director John Moore have no idea where to take the franchise next. In desperation they open the action with an endless over-the-top car chase scene on Russian streets, a surrender proclamation admitting that in the absence of story, characters, or logic, the CGI will run amok. 

The rest of A Good Day To Die Hard never gets any better, father and son moving from one contrived shoot-out to the next, helicopters thrown into the mix just because, Bruce Willis as John McClane reduced to the side-kick role in his own series, and Jai Courtney as his son lacking the definition or charisma to come anywhere near being capable of carrying the load. The rest of the cast members are back-seat passengers on the often ridiculous technology-enhanced ride.

The father-son moments quickly default to buddy movie quips, and at some point a plot twist of sorts is introduced, but amidst all the absurdity it barely registers. A Good Day To Die Hard is a really bad day at the movies.

All Ace Black Movie Blog reviews are here.


  1. It is a terrible movie and it never feels like a Die Hard film at all. It's the film that becomes what Bruce Willis has been doing lately in those straight to VOD flicks where he just phones it in. Die Hard was special because the John McClane character is an every-man who is just a regular NYC cop that is street-smart and we can connect with him. This film and the one before that just gets rid of that as I don't know who this character is.

    1. It's just a cash grab, and it's almost like no one involved seems to be trying to pretend otherwise.


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