A Good Day to Die Hard (John Moore, 2013)
The first instalment of this franchise, Die Hard, starring Bruce Willis as New York policeman John McClane visiting his family for Christmas and getting struck in the Takami building in an hostage takeover by terrorists was original, fresh, a brilliant homage to John Carpenter’s Assault on Precinct 13, and a new twist on the Action genre. As the writer of those lines, I loved the first three movies of the Die Hard series, and even if this blog is more about classics, art house, and high brow cinema I can actually enjoy a good movie and appreciate many aspects even if it only involves explosions and gun fires. The action genre is not the kind of movies that bores most of people. Well, some people who elevates themselves over pedestrians and think they are better than the majority might contempt this kind of entertainment. It is their problem. For me if it’s entertaining in some way I’ll be entertained and I think that it success its main goal when we speak about movies. But I would have had a different speech if we were talking about films although.
Just as the franchise turns 25 this year, we would have expected that its writers and director were to be more respectful of the essence of the series and the genuine badassery of its main character. Here we have an aging actor portraying an aging cop that want to find his son in Russia and bring him back to America. Not much is explained in the plot and when we discover the macguffin and the goal of the film, we kind of just loose it. It is confuse and the bad guys, as great as they were in the first movies, as useless and boring they are here. I thought that Heath Ledger’s Joker would bring back the quality in mainstream cinema villains. Well, it’s not the case here. A couple of one liners and bring back the original score and those few effects will do the thing.
It is not the celebration deserved for this game changing action movie franchise. It would have been more interesting to let the directorial reins to a top list director like they did with James Bond and Sam Mendes. Instead, we have a very poor movie that looks like a video game filled with annoying slow-motion borrowed from Sam Peckinpah and a ton load of explosions. However, the worst thing, is that a sixth instalment has been talked and Willis agreed to do it. Let’s all hope that a solid writer and director team would know how to bring back the original vibe of the franchise. If not, it would be better to let it repose in peace.