Saturday, 16 February 2013

A Good Day to Die Hard Review

I've come to expect a certain standard from a Die Hard movie.  There are some elements that just need to be incorporated.  There's the obligatory yippee-ki-yay catchphrase (which does appear).  John McClane must be thrust into an extraordinarily violent situation (which he is).  McClane needs to seem non-chalant about the whole situation while still being aware of the fact that he could die (which he is). Why, then, did I come away from this movie disappointed?  Because McClane was more sad than badass throughout the whole thing.

The basic premise is that McClane goes to Moscow to be with his son, Jack, who is in a lot of trouble with Russian law enforcement.  Violent antics ensue and many things are not as they appear - just like all of the other Die Hard movies.  The problem is that it does not focus on McClane being the only one who can save the situation.  Instead, McClane forces himself into helping Jack and is almost like Abe Simpson in being largely a nuisance to the situation.  Even though he does a few things that are a help along the way (stealing car keys and bribing hotel employees), they are largely minor and you wind up feeling that Jack would be better off without him being there.  In this one, he's become a sideshow that is holding on to past glory.  It's something that just did not have to happen.

But what bugs me the most about the McClane character is the desperation to give him the "this s**t can't happen to me again" and devil may care attitude.  The best example of this is that he is in Moscow for one reason: to help his son and bring him home.  But throughout the movie, whenever his life is in danger he screams, "I'm on vacation!"  His reason for being in Russia is far from a vacation.  But the writer just badly wanted a new little quirky catchphrase that could be used and it became laughable.

Another problem is the filming.  All of the action has that crappy, shaky camera work that is supposed to make it more realistic but just winds up being nauseating to watch.  Then, they added in hard zooms and panning that actually made the action difficult to watch.  It's sad because the action is quite good and well choreographed.  It's over the top and unrealistic which is what we want when we go to a Die Hard movie.  And they completely ruined it.

I'm not upset for having seen it.  But I'm glad I redeemed Scene points to do so.  I'll probably buy it on Blu-Ray simply because it's a Die Hard movie and I'm a fan of the franchise.  But I can't recommend it.  Don't see it.

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