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!

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By Josh Wilding - 2/15/2013

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


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
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.
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.

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
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.
Maximus101 - 2/15/2013, 9:10 PM
It's not that the franchise is dead, it just needs a solid script and director.
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.
OrsonRandall - 2/16/2013, 3:17 AM
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!
marvel72 - 2/16/2013, 5:49 AM
a good day to die hard........

birthday or christmas by an overdose of viagra.
Inhuman - 2/16/2013, 5:52 AM
die hard is one of the best franchises in movie history idc what anyone says. if you're a fan of die hard then you should still enjoy this one. im seeing it on monday. they need to make one more and then i agree that they should stop. franchises usually like to make 6 movies.
Inhuman - 2/16/2013, 5:54 AM
i wish they could make lethal weapon 5 =(
Inhuman - 2/16/2013, 5:59 AM
they need to make one more die hard and bring back holly.
Gary8264 - 2/16/2013, 6:17 AM
Josh, I have to agree with godzilla, the 5 star ratin' for TDKR really throws me off on your reviews. Your reviews are well writin', yes, but can't really go with your opinion. This movie (just like BTTH) is a throw back to what action movies were, and should be.
@Tea, a Moonlightin' movie would be great, just don't put Sybil in it, thought she was ugly back in the day, and she sure Lord hadn' aged gracefully... haha
EarOne - 2/16/2013, 9:53 AM
actually A-Team was pretty good..and surprised that it didn't gel with the audience. and considering all the banters in that movie, surprising to find the lack of em in this latest die hard.

it seems like either (or both) the director and writer had NO idea what makes a die hard movie a- well..die hard movie. it lacks the back-n-forth between mcclane and his nemesis. and the father and son thing..meh..we already got that from the previous one with the daughter, which is more believable and better. if only they'd make his son having SOME of his more loveable quality (and i don't mean the shoot-em-up skillz), maybe the interaction would be more interesting.

and if you wanna talk bout too far-fetched action pieces..they've started that since the third and even blew it up even more with the 4th one, with the fighter jet and the car hitting the chopper. but, that's okay i guess IF the movie ain't missing the one thing that make die hard DIE HARD...John yippe kiyay McClane.

the only good thing bout this flick is the russian chick. she's just soooooo jaw-droppingly HOT. period.
arashini - 2/16/2013, 8:18 PM
"this movie could - and arguably should - act as a passing of the torch"

Die Hard is Die Hard because of Bruce Willis as John McClane.

If Bruce Willis doesn't seem enthusiastic anymore, then END the franchise and invest that money elsewhere.

And Jay Courtney's bland as hell. I don't know who'd even care about him as a lead character, let alone as a replacement for John McClane.
arashini - 2/16/2013, 8:22 PM
This guy said it best about "it's an old, tired McClane. He's not supposed to be the same" excuse.

(from 0:20 to 1:38 )

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