Saturday, May 4, 2013

Die Hard 5: A Good Day to Die Hard - Dir. John Moore (The Die Hard Project #5 - JM)

Die Hard 5: A Good Day to Die Hard (2013)
Dir: John Moore

Die Hard takes a Walk
Jay Maronde

                Die Hard 5: A  Good Day to Die Hard is a movie that takes a walk, and I don’t mean that because for the first time John McClane leaves America for his adventure—I mean it in the context of the pitcher who beans the batter and says, “take your base.” Very sadly, this movie is atrocious (like worse than all the bad reviews of the previous four installments combined). Don’t get me wrong, I love DIE HARD, John McClane, and action movies, and by all means there are a ton of outstanding action sequences, but otherwise this movie is complete and utter capitalistic Hollywood garbage. The longer you watch this movie, the more it becomes apparent that the producers were pulling out all the stops for the action scenes, and if they had put 1/10 of the time, energy, and money into producing a movie that contained something of a plot and slightly better writing, this review would read very differently.  But as it stands this is trash, remarkable trash.
                Let’s start with Bruce. He’s awesome and more “die hardish” than ever. But he’s working with nothing for a script.  Every single thing he does is the obvious silly Hollywood plot choice. And sadly, much like an older Roger Moore playing James Bond, his age does detract from the movie. Also, instead of this movie being a buddy film, it’s more of a father/son team up. Which brings us to the new star of the Die Hard series: Jai Courtney playing John “Jack” McClane, Jr. Personally I don’t feel as though Courtney was that poor of a casting  choice, but he’s certainly not even half as good as Shia LaBeouf as Indiana Jones’ son. Further, his role in the film (which I won’t give away) is completely ridiculous: it’s merely a way to put Willis in Russia. Also while on the topic of actors I would like to acknowledge Mary Elizabeth Winsted reprising her wonderful performance from DH4 as Lucy McClane (John’s daughter and Jack’s sister).  Miss Winsted was outstanding and was more than decent in her cameo performance in this film.  However, she looks so much different from the last film that I honestly had no idea it was her until the credits rolled and spent a big part of the experience troubled by this. The rest of the actors are decent character actors playing stereotypical Russian gangsters and again they seem to be doing as much as they can with the poor-to-bad script that they are working with.
Not to let the director off the hook: at no point during this entire film do you feel like Moore had any creative control or self-expression.  To be honest, a decently well programmed robot could have probably churned out more original garbage.
                I’m so sad to have to give the latest installment in one of my favorite series a poor review, but on the brighter side of things the movie made more than 3 times its budget from ticket revenues, so for a film which was intentionally just Hollywood capitalistic trash, I suppose it achieved its goals remarkably well.