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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

A Good Day to Die Hard just plain hard to watch

Take-no-prisoners+cop+John+McClane+%28Bruce+Willis%29+bonds+with+his+son+Jack+%28Jai+Courtney%29+in+Russia+while+on+another+suicide+mission.+The+film+delivers+exceptional+car+chases+but+lousy+writing+and+acting.+Photo+courtesy+Dune+Entertainment
Take-no-prisoners cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) bonds with his son Jack (Jai Courtney) in Russia while on another suicide mission. The film delivers exceptional car chases but lousy writing and acting. Photo courtesy Dune Entertainment

By Taylor Jensen/entertainment editor

Warning: Approximately 500 cars were harmed in the making of this movie.

A Good Day to Die Hard, the fifth installment in the beloved Die Hard series, follows unstoppable cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) as he travels to Russia to retrieve his CIA operative son, Jack (Jai Courtney). Caught on the bad side of a nuclear weapons heist, Jack wants nothing to do with his crazy cowboy of a father, who threatens to jeopardize his mission.

Take-no-prisoners cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) bonds with his son Jack (Jai Courtney) in Russia while on another suicide mission. The film delivers exceptional car chases but lousy writing and acting. Photo courtesy Dune Entertainment
Take-no-prisoners cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) bonds with his son Jack (Jai Courtney) in Russia while on another suicide mission. The film delivers exceptional car chases but lousy writing and acting. Photo courtesy Dune Entertainment

But John never takes no for an answer because if he did, there would be no slow motion shots of him falling out of a window, no narrowing of his eyes at bad guys and absolutely no “Yippee ki-yay.”

Unfortunately, this movie is lazy with everything except its special effects. Its two shining moments happen in the first 30 minutes with a hilarious, but ultimately pointless, dialogue between John and a charming Russian taxi driver, and a car chase of epic proportions that would make Jason Statham cry.

The film has no actual theme besides the father-and-son dynamic they beat to death with a baseball bat with quotes like “That a boy” after Jack kills a bad guy and “My boy is gonna put a whooping on you.” Father-son sentimentality is packaged into 30-second time slots between gunfire and wreckage.

Nothing is actually explained, either. Jack hates John, but we’re never really told why. The bad guys are supposedly unbelievably dangerous but have no meaningful character development. Then the end comes, and it’s hard to determine if anything has been accomplished besides senseless fun.

Finally, saying the McClanes are a lucky family is an understatement. Machine guns and soft places to land from a fall appear out of thin air. John walks away from car crash after car crash, and things explode just as soon as Jack and John are far enough away from any real harm but not from the impact which catapults them into the air for a slow-motion shot.

Action films should be given some sort of leeway on the ridiculousness they can reach, but when John and Jack are the only ones walking into radioactive Chernobyl without any protection, it becomes a little much.

It’s painful to say that A Good Day to Die Hard is the weakest and most poorly written of all the Die Hards. In the film when Willis is caught in the crossfire of bullets and blasts, he yells that his trip to Russia was meant to be a vacation. After this film, he should seriously consider taking a real one.

Final take: The fifth movie in a successful action series that has had no problem delivering, until now.

Those who would enjoy it: Anyone who values cool action sequences over a complete storyline.

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