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, 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 the United States on February 13, 2013.
The movie is widely considered to be the worst entry in the entire series. It earned a 14% on Rotten Tomatoes. The general consensus is that while none of the sequels are as good as the original movie, they are still very enjoyable, which is not the case with this movie. Willis has since disowned the movie, admitting that it isn't good.
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. With their own lives on the line, McClane and Jack must overcome their differences in order to get Komarov to safety and thwart a potentially disastrous crime in the Chernobyl region.
Why It Sucks
- The film is very unnecessary, due to the fact that the fourth movie Live Free or Die Hard already felt like a decent ending to the franchise.
- The usage of 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, who was portrayed as a snarky anti-hero who still cares about people in the previous movies, gets turned to an unlikable hero who has no qualms about attacking and outright (nearly) killing innocent bystanders.
- Poor acting, especially from Jai Courtney.
- Lazy dubbing work. At least one line from the movie is literally ripped from the fourth movie, complete with the exact 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. The villain dies exactly the same way as Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) from the first movie (falling from a building), complete with the exact same facial expression and soundtrack.
- Horrible cinematography, that it 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 not as good as the original or the two sequels) as even it stayed true to its roots.
- Another "Bad Russians vs. Good Americans" plot. This would have been passable if it came in the 1980s, 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 film's 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 action scenes are good for what they are, despite its implausible.
- Some of the fight scenes are good as well.
- Bruce Willis is still awesome, although he seems tired out.
A Good Day to Die Hard was not well received by critics and audience/fans alike of the first four movies for its implausible action sequences, cinematography, weak plot, clichéd screenplay, and lack of characterization, although the special effects were praised. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 14% 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 clichéd, 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.