‘A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD’
Rating: R (violence, language)
Running time: 1 hour, 37 minutes
Theaters: Carousel, GrandLuxe, Brassfield, Carmike 18, Palladium, Randolph, Grand 18, Carmike 10, Countryside, Wynnsong, Alamance, Kingsway
It’s supposed to be a parody of itself, right?
That’s the only way to explain the ridiculously over-the-top, repetitively numbing fifth film in the “Die Hard” franchise, the clunkily titled “A Good Day to Die Hard.”
John McClane used to be a cowboy.
Now, he’s a cartoon character — specifically, Wile E. Coyote, given how many times he should be seriously injured and/or killed in this movie.
He’s shot at, involved in several serious car accidents, crashes through glass windows and ceilings and plummets through floor after floor of high-rise scaffolding. Continue Reading
The most he suffers is a scratch here and there, and then he’s ready to pop back up again with a bemused twinkle in his eye and a wry quip.
Part of the charm of this character, which was crucial in defining Bruce Willis’ career, was the regular-guy, Reagan-era resourcefulness he represented.
Now, he’s weirdly superhuman.
But as charismatic as Willis ordinarily is in the role, even he can’t fool us into thinking he’s actually enjoying himself this time. Essentially, this is an opportunity for Willis to show off how great he still looks in a tight T-shirt at age 57.
Even the obligatory “yippee-ki-yay” line feels phoned in.
“A Good Day to Die Hard” is pointless and joyless, a barrage of noise and chaos, an onslaught of destruction without the slightest mention of consequence. Dozens of people should be dead from one lengthy car chase alone.
No matter. “Die Hard” keeps on driving.
Director John Moore (“Behind Enemy Lines.” “Max Payne”) mistakes shaky-cam and dizzying zooms for artistic finesse in his action sequences. This is a film that has not one but two scenes in which helicopters just sit there, hovering in the sky, firing countless high-powered rounds into buildings.
But the most obnoxious element of all in Skip Woods and Jason Keller’s script may be the hastily wedged-in father-son feel-goodery that occurs in the midst of all this madness.
You see, Willis’ unstoppable New York cop has traveled to Moscow to track down his bitter, estranged son, Jack (Jai Courtney), whom he believes to be in some sort of criminal trouble.
It turns out Jack is actually a spy working undercover to protect a government whistleblower named Komarov (Sebastian Koch), and dad has arrived just in time to ruin his mission.
So now the two McClanes must team up to keep Komarov from being kidnapped by generically menacing Russian bad guys.