We’re watching A Good Day to Die Hard right now… Wow. Just…. just wow. It’s moments like these that make me want to start a bad-movie review site. Go ahead and stop reading this now if you don’t want to see any spoilers (or read one of my lengthy bitch-rants). Beware: NSFW. Don’t let the kids read this one.
Still with me? All the children under 17 tucked safely in their beds? Cool beans.
Okay. Let me start by saying that, at 4 minutes in – or whenever the stupid shit happens with the tiny Mercedes Jeep/SUV that goes tearing through rush hour traffic destroying half of Moscow, and also (some CRAZY how) wins in a fight against a 5-ton armored military truck – I was already scratching my head and saying things like, “Uhh… hmm. Wha? Oh. Huh?!” Bad sign. A good rule of thumb for any movie is: if within the first ten minutes I’m already anticipating the fact that, in all likelihood, I’m going to feel as though I’ve just wasted over two hours of my life by continuing to watch a really shitty movie, I’m probably right. I mean, not trying to toot my own horn or anything, but I’ve seen a lot of movies (both shitty and not shitty) and I do have a movie collection of almost 200 titles. So I tend to trust my gut in these moments; after all, it’s a pretty big gut. Moving on.
Since I can’t decide whether to prattle on about how terrible this movie was alphabetically or chronologically, I’ll just make an executive decision and give it to you from the top. First, the subtitles are horrible. I mean HORRIBLE. No like, really… who the hell signed off on this and said, “Yeah – those look good to me.” You can’t – CANNOT – read them. They’re all written in italics, in white font, and they stay on the screen a half-second less than you need to read them; Oh, and they’re often placed against (you guessed it) a white background. This… this right here, this is a gigantic FUCK YOU to everyone with a vision impairment. I think I’ve made my point.
So, aside from the fact that I had no earthly idea what the fuck was going on throughout the first act of the film, the stunts and visuals were overbearingly ridiculous. Not ridiculous as in cool; ridiculous as in, I want to beat my head on the fucking coffee table ridiculous. I mean, come on… in what universe did they film this thing and think any of these stunts could look remotely legitimate?
So now I’m only 15 minutes in, I’m totally lost, and I’ve already downed the last of my bourbon. (Fuck me, right?)
At this point, I’m basically watching this thing out of respect for the first two Die Hard movies. Let’s face it, everyone hated the third one, Justin Long made the fourth one completely unbelievable (although, he did add a lot of comic relief to an otherwise monotonous re-write), and when the studio said they were making a fifth one, everyone was just concerned. How fucking old is Bruce Willis now? Isn’t he like, 60?
Anywho… so, I just choke down the urge to scream and press on. We get to the scene where McClane Sr. picks up a very large automatic rifle in the apartment and starts shooting a line of Russian mobster-guys who, despite the fact that all of their buddies are being shot repeatedly as they walk through a door, continue walking through the stupid door like a bunch of stupid, poopy-face dumbshits. BAH!
Woah, over six hundred words and we’re not even through the first act. Damn!
Let’s fast-forward a little bit to keep the ball rolling. We get through the apartment scene, the McClanes and Komarov make a daring escape, Komarov gets shot, and we come to a huge ballroom with a lot of expensive-looking chandeliers lying around the floor and hanging from the ceilings, where Komarov pulls the mysterious file everyone’s been losing their shit over out of a dirty window AC unit and then gets betrayed and held at gunpoint by his own daughter. Boom. See? I told you there’d be spoilers. Shouldn’t have kept reading. Douche.
After some terrible dialogue between our Daddy-Son Duo and a Johnny Cash lookalike with a foul excuse for a Russian accent, we come to yet another daring escape. (Oh, get ready: the movie is chocked full of them.) You’d think hard ass McClane 1 and 2 would figure out that these Russian guys mean business when they see a heavily-armed apache helicopter coming at them, but noooooo. They take off running across the ballroom floor, narrowly dodging insane amounts of bullets, and dive through the window of a ten story building onto some rickety construction scaffolding, and then take a roller coaster-esque ride down a plastic trash chute conveniently placed next to the scaffolding. (Willis even has an über-cliche line after – go figure – to the tune of, “Wanna go again?”)
So, I’m punching myself in the throat now, searching for the remote in the couch cushions, trying to figure out whether or not I can call Redbox and have them refund my $1.68 or whatever they charge for a Bluray rental – yeah, it’s that bad – and I haven’t even made it to the halfway point. But, like I said, I’m really trying to give this thing a chance to be good. Like, REALLY trying hard. Shall we go on?
I don’t want to, but whatever. As the english say, “in for a penny, in for a pound!”
Fast forward again, through some sickening family-friendly bonding moments and loads of shoddy dialogue, and we come to a gear-up scene where the kid says some stupid ass cliche lines and tries really hard not to rip his Baby Gap tee shirt as he loads more guns and ammunition onto his body than John fucking Rambo. So now, John and John Jr. have to – do exactly what they’ve already been doing. The whole stupid fucking time.
So, I’ll just spare you and me both the rest of this painstaking description. Queue lots of slow-motion explosions, more horrible dialogue, excruciating scenes with a lot of awkward father-daughter sexual tension that made me (ME) turn my head and cringe, a completely predictable “twist” at the end (turns out the main Russian guy was really the bad guy all along – very original. Come on, I thought Joe McCarthy died in the 50s. Are we really still pushing his Commie-hating Red Scare agenda, Hollywood?), and some more slow-mo explosions. There. That’s it. I just saved you $1.68. Or two hours of your life. Whichever way you want to look at it.
In summary, this movie failed… It simply, utterly – horribly – failed.
In all honesty, I’d rather break my own fingers than watch this movie ever again. And yet, I’m still watching it. At one point, my roommate even said, “Jesus, I could’ve written this fucking movie.” (You’d understand how crazy funny that was, if only you knew Daniel.)
And just to put the shit topping on the shitty shit cake, those bastards got lazy with the ending. It’s a three minute-long slow motion “walking away” outtro scene where the writers clearly said, “fuck it.”
Alright, that’s it. I’m done with this.