Bruce Willis is fed up of making action movies. You may have heard or read comments to that extent recently. You may have seen Willis acting like some unhappy, spoilt brat in one or two televised interviews. He has made no attempt recently to hide his disdain for the movies which have tended to make him some big paydays, and he has also, with his behaviour and laziness, made no attempt to hide his disdain for the fans who would flock to see such movies. Perhaps he needs reminding that when the first Die Hard movie came out his face was half hidden by an exploding tower because people in power worried about just how well-liked he was. Going by that rationale, and at this rate, his face shouldn’t appear on any upcoming movie posters for the next few years.
But there is hope for poor Mr. Willis. If he wants more time to sit around at home, counting his piles of money, plucking the hairs from his nose and sticking them to his head (maybe, I have no idea what people do when they’re rich, famous and bored) then it’s up to us, the fans, to help him. Don’t pay another pound/dollar/Euro/baht/whatever currency you use to see his movies. Ever. Don’t waste your time at the cinema, don’t waste any money renting his movies from any place that charges you per title and encourage others to join your boycott. Hey, I love many of his movies. Absolutely love them. But if he’s not going to keep doing “his job” to an acceptable standard . . . . . . . . . . . . . then it’s time to let him go. If you think I’m joking, about either the man’s horrible work of late or the rallying cry to hurt him in his wallet, then just watch A Good Day To Die Hard and then see how you feel. But see it for free.
The plot, what little there is, sees John McClane (Willis, of course) heading over to Russia to help out his son, Jack (Jai Courtney). He thinks that Jack may be in trouble, and he’s right. It’s just not the usual kind of trouble that kids get into. And so begins a mind-numbing sequence of events that mix together the weakest villain of the series (played by Sebastian Koch), the dullest action and some horrible CGI. And there’s the addition of McClane now being about as indestructible as Superman, something that even the criticised fourth entry into the franchise wisely managed to avoid. In a vehicle chase that takes place in the first half hour, John McClane crashes a vehicle and ends up upside down, is then hit by the front of a screeching car as he commandeers another vehicle . . . . . . . and then ends up also crashing that one. But he manages to get through this by groaning, glaring and saying “Jesus” every few minutes. And that’s pretty much what you get for just over 90 minutes – characters that you don’t care about being damaged by chases, gunfire, fistfights, etc. and never looking as if they’re really in any actual danger. Which is boring.
Not only is this the worst Die Hard movie to date, it’s one of the worst action movies to have a decent budget behind it and easily the worst mainstream movie I have seen this year. I will be very surprised if anything comes into cinemas this year that I dislike more.
I don’t really blame director John Moore. The man may not have made any classics but he’s easily capable of something better than this (in fact, Behind Enemy Lines is a better Die Hard movie than this). I don’t even blame writer Skip Woods (let’s just say that I’ve heard . . . . . . . . . rumours about the script being severely pared down during filming). I don’t blame Jai Courtney, who is probably the best thing in the film and may regret that THIS was the Die Hard film he was able to sign on for, or Sebastian Koch or Cole Hauser (the second best thing in the film) or Yuliya Snigir or Rasha Bukvic. They do what’s asked of them.
I blame Willis. He was expected to reprise his signature role and create another entry in a franchise that has been pleasing action movie fans for a quarter of a century. He was expected to remember just what audiences loved about his sardonic, tough, everyman hero and bring that back to the big screen. He didn’t. Maybe, being kind, he’s absolutely unable to recapture that McClane of his youth. But I just can’t help thinking that he could do a lot better for paying audiences if he wanted to. Sadly, Bruce Willis is fed up of making action movies. Help him stop.
DIRECTOR: JOHN MOORE
WRITER: SKIP WOODS
STARS: BRUCE WILLIS, JAI COURTNEY, SEBASTIAN KOCH, COLE HAUSER, YULIYA SNIGIR, RASHA BUKVIC
RUNTIME: 98 MINS APPROX