A Good Day to Die Hard
A Good Day to Die Hard is a 2013 action-thriller film directed by John Moore, written by Skip Woods, and the fifth installment in the Die Hard series. Bruce Willis returns as John McClane, starring alongside Jai Courtney, Sebastian Koch, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Yuliya Snigir. The film premiered in London on January 31, 2013, coinciding with the unveiling of a Die Hard mural at the Fox Lot, and was released in the United States on February 13, 2013.
New York City cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) arrives in Moscow to track down his estranged son, Jack (Jai Courtney). McClane thinks his son is a criminal, so it comes as a shock when he learns that Jack is actually working undercover to protect Komarov (Sebastian Koch), a Russian government whistleblower. McClane and Jack must overcome their differences to get Komarov to safety and thwart a potentially disastrous crime in the Chernobyl region with their own lives on the line.
Why It's a Bad Day to Die Hard
- Similar to Rambo: Last Blood, this movie is somewhat very unnecessary, because the fourth movie already felt like a decent ending to the franchise.
- The usage of the academy ratio (1:85:1) was widely criticized since the previous movies were shot in anamorphic format (2:39:1).
- It missed the spirit of the franchise.
- For instance, John McClane, who was portrayed as a snarky anti-hero who still cares about people in the previous movies, gets turned into an unlikable hero who has no qualms about attacking and outright (nearly) killing innocent bystanders.
- Apart from Bruce Willis, the acting is poor, especially from Jai Courtney.
- Lazy dubbing work:
- At least one line from the movie is literally ripped from the fourth movie, complete with the same audio.
- An unbelievably weak story with, among others, terrible exposition scenes that feel convoluted, and a poor plot twist complete with unsubtle foreshadowing.
- Shamelessly rips off scenes from the previous movies. For example:
- Horrible cinematography that makes it feel more like a made-for-TV or direct-to-video movie.
- His daughter's death is also a cheap rehash of Simon Gruber's (Jeremy Irons) demise from the third movie (helicopter crash).
- The twist of Komarov and Irina being revealed to be evil all along is both frustrating and arbitrary because it comes in very late after the film has spent nearly all of its run-time focusing on Viktor Chagarin and his lackey Alik as the main villains.
- Writer Skip Woods and Fox tried toning down the film's tone for a younger audience which is ironic as the film is rated R nonetheless in comparison to its predecessor, Live Free or Die Hard/Die Hard 4.0 from 2007, which was rated PG-13 which despite being somewhat watered down itself was still good as the other sequels (but still not as good as the original) as even it stayed true to its roots.
- An example of why this movie could be considered R rated is that John does say his famous catchphrase in this movie, but the way he says it is very poorly delivered to the point of him sounding very lifeless and it is barely audible.
- It is another "Bad Russians vs. Good Americans" plot. This would have been passable if it came in the 1980s or earlier, but not in the present-day world.
- Speaking of said story, the whole idea of setting a Die Hard film in Russia is very ludicrously out of place in the franchise, other than to pander to the Russian audiences.
- The freeze-finish ending with the McClanes reuniting is a sharp contrast to the pull-back endings from the first four films.
- The Director's Cut actually removes footage, including all appearances and mentions of Lucy McClane, even though the bits between her and John were some of the few moments that felt like the previous films.
- Poor CGI, most noticeably the scene where John and Jack are diving through the building and there's fire everywhere.
- The pacing isn't very good.
- It sadly ended the Die Hard film series for good.
- Bad direction by John Moore.
- Bruce Willis still gives a good performance as John McClane, despite the cliched script he was given.
- Even though the Russian setting doesn't work as mentioned above, it looks cool and could've worked better depending on your view.
- The soundtrack is good.
A Good Day to Die Hard received negative reviews from critics and audiences for its implausible action sequences, cinematography, weak plot, clichéd screenplay, short runtime and lack of characterization special effects were praised. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 15% based on 230 reviews, with an average rating of 4.00/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "A Good Day to Die Hard is the weakest entry in a storied franchise, and not even Bruce Willis' smirking demeanor can enliven a cliched, uninspired script..". On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 28 out of 100, based on 40 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". On both websites, the film ranked lowest among the Die Hard films. Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale, the lowest score of the franchise.
Chris Stuckmann, Cody Leach, Lukimus Prime, and several other YouTubers often view this as one of their most disliked action movies and most disliked action sequels of all time. Lukimus Prime in particular nicknames this movie "A Bad Day to Die Hard" or "A Good Day to Kill A Franchise".
The film opened up at #1 on its opening weekend with a domestic gross of $24,834,845. On its closing weekend, it made $67,349,198. In foreign territories, it made $237,304,984. Overall, the film made $304,654,182 against its $92 million budget, making it the lowest-grossing film in the series, but was a box office success despite the negative reviews.
Reviews and Top 10s
- The storyline was derived from a rejected, early script for Live Free or Die Hard/Die Hard 4.0, which according to Willis, doesn't feel like a Die Hard movie at all.
- Aaron Paul, Liam Hemsworth, James Badge Dale, Paul Walker, Ben Foster, Shiloh Fernandez, Milo Ventimiglia, Paul Dano, Steven R. McQueen, D.J. Cotrona, and Justin Timberlake were all considered for the role of Jack.
- Both Bruce Willis and John Moore really didn't want Lucy in the film - Willis because he thought each entry in the franchise should be able to stand on its own two feet, and Moore because he simply thought Lucy's character was pointless - but were forced to include her by the studio. As a result, Moore cut Lucy's entire role from the director's cut on the DVD and Blu-ray releases.
- There were plans for a sixth film as well as a prequel television series. However, due to the negative reception and poor box office returns, both the sequel and TV series were cancelled. It was also cancelled after Disney acquired 20th Century Fox in March 2019.
- This is the first film produced by TSG Entertainment, since distributor 20th Century Fox's departure from Dune Entertainment upon the completion of their distribution contract at the end of 2012.