At the outset let me just say that I’m glad I didn’t pay good money to see A Good Day to Die Hard in theatres. Yes, I know it came out a year ago. I just had a free preview weekend of HBO courtesy of DirecTV, and it was on.
So I queued up the DVR to record it. Thinking, “You know, Live Free or Die Hard was cheesy, but I kinda liked it. How bad can this one be?”
The answer is so, so bad. Clichés, deus ex machina, etc. Near as I can figure the plot had something to do with bad blood between Evil Papa Smurf and Russian Alec Baldwin (his Russian doppelganger). Throw in a surly kid named Jack–who don’t know jack–and Bruce Willis acting like he wishes he were in a Geritol commercial with Wilford Brimley, and you’ve got the movie. Seriously, Willis looked like he needed a healthy dose of prune juice.
Don’t get me started on the ridiculous set pieces. Like a car chase involving a conveniently placed trailer? Whither credibility? At least with say James Bond there’s a willing suspension of disbelief (especially the Blonde Bond films). But here? They only thing that could’ve made this film worse is Shia LeBouef. Or maybe that’s better? MAYBE THEN WE’D KNOW NOT TO, YOU KNOW, TAKE IT SERIOUSLY.
Yes, that I think–other than the absurdities (quick car ride to Chernobyl from Moscow, anyone? It’s 12 hours away!)–was the film’s greatest sin:
It took itself too seriously. It wasn’t fun. The one liners fell flat. And there wasn’t one single “Yippee-kai-ai!” in the whole sordid mess.
And that, my friends, is just one McClane too far.