I went to the midnight showing of A Good Day to Die Hard this week. Going into it I was a little apprehensive based on the last Die Hard movie. What a mess that was.
I told myself if there are any moments that are as impossible to believe as the harrier nonsense I was walking out. During the first car chase, I almost did, but it was so early on, I couldn’t bring myself to do it.
What I really loved about the original Die Hard movie, was that it was story and character driven. That hasn't been true in most of the other movies. I can't even remember who the bad guys were or why they took over the airplane(?) airport(?) or whatever it was in the second movie. I liked the 3rd one with Sam Jackson and the 4th was completely forgettable. I may have to try it again, and see if I feel the same, but I was very disappointed at the time. It felt nothing like a Die Hard movie. This one does though.
The movie premise is basic enough. The story isn’t complicated and while it has its twists, it is easy to follow and makes enough sense that it doesn’t require too much suspension of disbelief (like say, walking around on the wing of a harrier jet or while driving an 18 wheeled semi, successfully avoiding rockets from an experienced harrier jet pilot. *sigh*)
The film begins with John McClane preparing to go find his son who is in some kind of trouble in Russia. When he arrives and finds his son, I really didn’t like the way the characters responded here. I felt like it should have gone differently because John didn’t really act like John. He seemed rather stupid considering everything that had happened and was happening. I suppose it had to be that way for the situation to escalate the way it did, but to me, it really didn’t fit.
Ah the shaky cam. Even when two people are just sitting there talking. Do you really need to shake everything around? I have no idea whatsoever what happened in the car chase; it was very confusing, but in the end, I suppose it doesn’t matter.
There was a great part in the car chase with a little blue car. Maybe I
enjoyed it so much because I could actually see it, but it was a cool
moment. As the movie progressed, I either got used to it or they relied on it less. (I’ll leave that there because I know people don’t mind it as much as I do. I think it is unnecessary, distracting, and a cheap way to hide poor cinematography or directing, but I won't go on about it.)
John Moore did make good use of slow motion and CGI though. I would have even enjoyed a little more. I really like seeing the action and there are a couple of moments in this film that are simply beautiful. One explosion in particular literally took my breath away. It was wonderful.
After the chase, John is acting like John again and we learn about what is
really going on with Jack and who he is and the story takes off. I won't spoil any of it here. It is worth going through it with John.
There are several classic John McClane moves and dialog and A Good Day to Die Hard is a great addition to the franchise. I have really enjoyed the odd numbered movies in this series. The even numbers, not so much and this one continues that pattern. (Kind of like the original Star Trek movies, but in reverse.)
I can recommend this movie to you if you are on the fence. It doesn't go to the extreme lengths that the last one did, so if you are hesitant because of that like I was, don't let it keep you out.