Josh Wilding Reviews: A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD

Josh Wilding Reviews: A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD

A Good Day To Die Hard is out now in US and UK theatres, but is it really as bad as everyone has been saying?! Well, just be grateful that I've watched it so that you don't have to! Hit the jump for my spoiler-free verdict!

I would normally kick off a review such as this one with a brief summary of the plot, but the problem in this instance is that A Good Day To Die Hard simply doesn't have much of one! The entire film essentially feels like an extended version of the theatrical trailer. There isn't really a beginning, middle or end (at least not structurally) and what plot there IS is neither particularly interesting or original. Of course, we have screenwriter Skip Woods to thank for that. This is the same hack responsible for Hitman, X-Men Origins: Wolverine and The A-Team, so perhaps it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise that his involvement pretty much doomed A Good Day To Die Hard from the start. There were at least a few entertaining one-liners though!

However, the saving grace is the action, even though an awful lot of it has been done better elsewhere (the Bourne franchise for example). Scenes such as the chase sequence in Moscow are well-directed by John Moore, but butchered in the editing room. To make matters worse, too much of A Good Day To Die Hard is laughably far-fetched, although undeniably fun for the most part. You see, despite its many, many flaws, there's no denying that the shoot-out's and insanely ridiculous and explosive finale are all extremely entertaining.

In terms of performances, it's not easy to single anyone out when they're working off such a terrible screenplay, but Jack Reacher's Jai Courtney (Jack McClane) once again shows himself to be one of Hollywood's most impressive new talents. A Good Day To Die Hard feels like HIS movie far more than it does Bruce Willis'. The senior John McClane phones it in in what is clearly just an easy pay day for him. That's not to say his performance is bad per se, but this movie could - and arguably should - act as a passing of the torch. As for the rest of the cast, I'm afraid to say that there really isn't anyone else worth mentioning! All in all, while the score below is indicative of the quality of the film, it really isn't as bad as some other reviews have made out!

Fun, frantic and completely forgettable, A Good Day To Die Hard is the final nail in the coffin of a tired franchise...until the next one that is.

Iconoclastic, take-no-prisoners cop John McClane, for the first time, finds himself on foreign soil after traveling to Moscow to help his wayward son Jack ­– unaware that Jack is really a highly-trained CIA operative out to stop a nuclear weapons heist. With the Russian underworld in pursuit, and battling a countdown to war, the two McClanes discover that their opposing methods make them unstoppable heroes.


Bruce Willis as John McClane
Jai Courtney as John "Jack" McClane, Jr.
Cole Hauser as Collins
Sebastian Koch as Komorov
Yuliya Snigir as Irina
Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Lucy McClane


Posted By:
Josh Wilding
Member Since 3/13/2009
Filed Under "Action" 2/15/2013
DISCLAIMER: This article was submitted by a volunteer contributor who has agreed to our code of conduct. is protected from liability under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) and "safe harbor" provisions. CBM will disable users who knowingly commit plagiarism, piracy, trademark or copyright infringement. Please contact us for expeditious removal of copyrighted/trademarked content. You may also learn more about our copyright and trademark policies HERE.
1 2
BlueMex - 2/15/2013, 4:23 PM
Question which one is better A Good day to die hard or Live Free or Die Hard?
JoshWilding - 2/15/2013, 4:25 PM
Live Free Or Die Hard (or Die Hard 4.0 as it was known here) is much, much better than this.
nowtheresaBATman - 2/15/2013, 4:27 PM
Jai Courtney for He-Man
Ocelot - 2/15/2013, 4:27 PM
the only good die hard movies are the 1st and 3rd one, this one sounds worse than the 4th one which was an absolute abomination and not a die hard movie
Battabing - 2/15/2013, 4:30 PM
It really is an awful movie.
repulse93 - 2/15/2013, 4:31 PM
HEY! I liked The A-Team movie! (even the creator of the show thought the movie was better). And X-Men Origins: Wolverine was... meh (Jackman and Schreiber did great in it).

Still considering the Max Payne director was attached to this, I did not hold out much hope.
Nick56 - 2/15/2013, 4:31 PM
I'll still see it. I'm was never expecting it to be great so I'm just going to have fun with it
Kyos - 2/15/2013, 5:03 PM
There was exactly nothing in any of the trailers that made me want to see this movie. :(
LAXtremest - 2/15/2013, 5:14 PM
What killed Die Hard 4 for me was Justin Long and the bad guy. Action was pretty good I thought.
Luigi - 2/15/2013, 5:23 PM
Sad, Fox was doing so well too.
GeekyCheekyChic - 2/15/2013, 5:28 PM
I didn't like it. The trailer is better than the movie- probably because its shorter.
bazinga85 - 2/15/2013, 5:42 PM
Why did I think this might've been decent?
BIGBMH - 2/15/2013, 6:01 PM
Despite the disappointment of fans, prior to this there had never been a truly bad Die Hard movie. This is very disappointing.
sameoldthing - 2/15/2013, 6:38 PM
Die Hard films are 100% about action,action,action...if this film has great action,its a winner.
GUNSMITH - 2/15/2013, 6:38 PM
Jollem - 2/15/2013, 6:38 PM
i honestly thought it was better than skyfall and bourne legacy combined. mcclane was very john mcclane-y. and yes, he's older and more mature. that's how it usually happens. it was a good die hard movie. better than 4 and i liked 4
Jollem - 2/15/2013, 6:39 PM
that's right, Josh. BETTER THAN SKYFALL!! :)
NoAssemblyReqd - 2/15/2013, 6:54 PM
I hate when I watch a sequel and think "Did the filmmakers even watch the first movie?"
NoAssemblyReqd - 2/15/2013, 6:59 PM
One of the few long-franchise sequels I've seen that honored the feel and spirit of the original was ROCKY BALBOA.

I was so hoping DIE HARD 5 would take a similar back-to-basics approach.
Jollem - 2/15/2013, 7:01 PM
die hard 5 didn't hit the same beats. i don't want to see the same movie over and over again
FightAs0ne - 2/15/2013, 7:09 PM
Lol I KNEW this movie was gonna bad. I could tell by the writer and director and the one the cast as his son.

Where's Levi? He kept saying how this movie was gonna be awesome and it was gonna shit on Live Free or Die Hard. Talk about judgement lol.
GodzillaKart - 2/15/2013, 7:15 PM
Well, looking forward to sleeping through this some hung over sunday in 2014.

Josh, I think your review have improved greatly. And, I think you originally [frick]ed yourself by giving the very polarizing TDKR 5 stars in the same week that you gave the pretty OK Arrow 1 star.

At that moment, a 5 star, 1 star star was born.

But, I think you have proven yourself beyond that.

Enjoy the reviews.

Jollem - 2/15/2013, 7:34 PM
@cipher -

i've never been one to go along with "popular" opinion :)

the first half hour is more rewarding and entertaining than the entirety of skyfall, which had a disappointing 3rd act and was ultimately kinda boring overall. the practical and digital effects were great. it's a good continuation to the die hard series and to the story of john mcclane. not better than casino royale or goldeneye, but yes, BETTER THAN SKYFALL!! take that to your respected bank :)
thewonderer - 2/15/2013, 7:46 PM
Live Free or Die Hard is a great action movie. It has a decent plot, with a great villain imo, and Bruce Willis kicking ass. While the John Mcclaine average joe in a wrong place idea is thrown out, the movie is still great.

This is complete shit
Jollem - 2/15/2013, 7:59 PM
great action movie with a decent plot and great villains with bruce willis kicking ass? sounds like die hard 5...
RichardHedski - 2/15/2013, 8:27 PM
I loved it. Best Die Hard ever. It had explosions, guns, one-liners and an Oscar worthy performance by the legend himself Bruce Willis. Best movie of 2013 so far besides Hansel & Gretel.
Jollem - 2/15/2013, 8:49 PM
@cipher - i figured you'd figure i was just being silly :)
Jollem - 2/15/2013, 8:55 PM
to clarify, tho, i do not think skyfall was a bad movie at all. i liked it better than quantum but less than casino and goldeneye. i can see where people would like it better than me, tho

die hard 1 was great. obviously. if you think about it, a lot of action movies have followed the die hard 1 formula, if not for twisting it a little bit. think punisher: war zone, dredd, under siege, and the raid

die hard 2 was my least favorite, but i'm torn because i am so much a fan of william sadler

3 i like because it didn't follow the same formula. the wild goose chase with clues made for a lot of fun, especially when you throw sam jackson in the mix. the villain i didn't care for as much

die hard 4 i liked because there was a lot of new with having a female villain and making john a fish out of water in the digital age and giving him a techy sidekick to compensate. 4 actually felt like they were making up for 2 because of the way the bad guys were doing similar things. one was messing shit up in an airport by pretending to be other people, whereas olyphant was doing the same thing but bigger and badder and on a wider and more dangerous scale. then you have more exploration with john's character by including his daughter

5 also had a lot of new

**SPOILER** just to be safe

the father/daughter villain duo was new and good, and i thought was acted well. expanding on the story of john by including his son and dealing with all the stuff with john not being there for him was great. and making john's son a cia spy? well, that just makes for a fun and interesting story, i'd say. jai courtney wasn't too bad, either. throw in the fish out of water thing with john not being in america for the first time makes for new and interesting. the whole deal with chernobyl was neat. there was a lot of new to the die hard franchise in the movie. some people may say bruce "looks bored" or "isn't trying", but that's just noisy b.s., i'd say. he's very john mcclane-y in this but he is also older and more mature, which tends to happen for most people. great action, nice set pieces, bruce being bruce, his ass-kicking cia spy son. looking forward to the next one
Maximus101 - 2/15/2013, 9:10 PM
It's not that the franchise is dead, it just needs a solid script and director.
Jollem - 2/15/2013, 9:12 PM
7.5 or 7.75 out of 10 is where i'm currently sitting
TheSuperguy - 2/15/2013, 10:18 PM
I watched THE LAST STAND and BULLET TO THE HEAD, but I probably won't see this. Just not that interesting.
nach1wan - 2/15/2013, 11:12 PM
hey, the a-team is awesome...
TheRaven20 - 2/15/2013, 11:24 PM
It ws entertaining, but yeah nothing special I'd probably give it 2 1/2 stars.
mgeoff88 - 2/16/2013, 12:28 AM
I was looking forward to this... I'll still get around to seeing it eventually, but I won't be expecting much.

I heard Bruce Willis wants to do one more so he can properly retire the character.

Taking the Die Hard franchise on a bigger, international scale did seem like a risky move. I mean, that's not Die Hard. With Die Hard 6, I hope the director takes the franchise back to its roots.
Jolt17 - 2/16/2013, 12:30 AM
Spot on review, except I don't think that it's even that much of an entertainment! The climax was pretty good (although the build-up was really poor), but every other action bit was extremely disappointing - not even that Moscow chase scene, which could've been a really fun ride, but the dizzying camera work was way too much for my enjoyment.
Jollem - 2/16/2013, 1:19 AM
@tea -

OrsonRandall - 2/16/2013, 3:17 AM
Jollem - 2/16/2013, 4:13 AM
why do people still want bruce to be a spastic, hyper, dancing monkey? he's an older, mature, badass action star

rdjr. has the monopoly on an old guy still trying to be one of the hip, cool kids

what was that line in that austin powers movie?

"there's nothing more pathetic than an aging hipster"

Ancar - 2/16/2013, 5:23 AM
Man, I will see it in theaters, certainly - Willis, guns, explosions, cars, explosions, jokes, explosions... Pure old-fashioned popcorn!
Jollem - 2/16/2013, 5:45 AM
@tea - there's actually a lot of caring. he's very mcclane-y in the movies, even 5. he's making jokes and being happy from time to time. not all the time, because mcclane does not do prozac

you don't have to believe me, but it's true :)
1 2

Please log in to post comments.

Don't have an account?
Please Register.