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A Good Day to Die Hard

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Put this old dog down – ★

Yippee ki-yay motherfucker is not a phrase you will hear in the latest and worst instalment of the Die Hard franchise, A Good Day to Die Hard. Explosions galore, terrible plot and rubbish characters result in a disappointing outing for the New York cop called McClane.

Bruce Willis reprises his role as the wise-cracking no nonsense cop for the fifth time, and certainly not the last time one would imagine based on its healthy box office receipts. He’s off to Russia to find his estranged son who appears to be working for some gangster types. This of course isn’t the case as Jack (Jai Courtney) is an undercover agent working for the CIA. The first major explosion comes about fifteen minutes into the film when we get an unnecessarily long motorway chase, clearly ripping off elements of Skyfall and reminiscent of The Matrix: Reloaded.

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Like father, like son…

Willis acts like a slapstick character, just jumping into the action with his new catchphrase “I’m on vacation”. He has somehow transformed into a James Bond figure or superhero as he gets embroiled in espionage, evil “end of level” boss type figures but instead of a death ray it’s nuclear weapons. In between all the explosions he has two minute conversations with his son, attempting to patch up years of neglect. These merely allow for a chance to change the scenery so some new explosions can take place.

We arrive at the final act in a whirlwind where nothing has really happened yet Jack and John have their big heart to heart and then save the world. The film certainly doesn’t outstay its welcome, clocking in around the 90 minute mark. The story is just too unbelievable, yet Willis seems quite unrepentant about shitting all over the original 1988 masterpiece. Die Hard is the action movie standard, what you refer back to in all scenarios. A Good Day to Die Hard could not be further from its beginnings, gone are the humorous heartfelt lines of dialogue, credible action sequences and characters you care about. I wouldn’t have batted an eyelid if everyone died in the end, at least then there may have been some originality.

The Irish director John Moore did his job, the film is 15A meaning more people can see it and it’ll break even at the very least. There isn’t an ounce of originality with the film being cobbled together from previous bad rent a goon style pictures. One goon in particular seems to think eating a carrot, yes A CARROT gives him edge and menace along with his ability to tap dance. These inclusions in the final edit always fascinate me as at some point either the actor or director said “ya know I think this guy needs something, an edge. I’ve got it, a carrot!”

The old chestnut of it’s so bad it’s good doesn’t wash with this Die Hard, we know what it’s capable of and this is well shy of the mark. A loud boring outing for McClane with no soul. The party is well and truly over.

USA  /  Directed By: John Moore  /  Written By: Skip Woods  /  Starring: Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney, Sebastian Koch /  97min  /  Action  /  Release: 14 February 2013 (Ireland, UK, USA, Canada)

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Páraic

Páraic wanted to be a gangster as far back as he can remember. Brought up on a diet of films he was too young to be watching by his brothers, all things 80s teens thanks to his sisters and the classics by his folks he's turned into a well-rounded (maybe a little too round) film lover. Only recently discovering North by Northwest, he longs for a train journey with a beautiful blond.

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