Popcorn Panel: A Good Day to Die Hard

We sent writers Claire Brassard and Alix Vander Vlugt to the premier of A Good Day to Die Hard.

Check out their opinions in our Popcorn Panel!

Claire Brassard

On its own, this is a pretty bad movie. But compared to the first 1988 Die Hard classic, this movie is absolutely terrible.

In this fifth installment of the action movie series, John McClane (Bruce Willis) travels to Moscow to help his son Jack (Jai Courtney) who has been imprisoned for murder. He soon finds out that that Jack is actually a CIA agent working to protect Yuri Komarov (Sebastian Koch), a political prisoner with ties to the Chernobyl disaster. Although Jack is not pleased by John’s surprise visit, the two form a father-son team and spend quality time, bonding through car chases, gunfights, and explosions.

The first Die Hard movie has a simple yet gripping plotline, a well-written script, and just the right amount of humour. These are what make it a classic. Unfortunately, A Good Day to Die Hard contains none of these elements.

The plot is flat. It isn’t exciting in any way and is predictable. Yes, there are a few twists here and there, usually having to do with characters switching sides, but nothing too shocking. It’s hard not to roll your eyes at the whole father-son thing. It gets really cheesy, really fast.

What happened to John McClane’s witty one-liners? Seems like all the fighting over the years has turned him into nothing but a mindless grouch. He walks around throughout most of the film looking bored, almost as if he knows he’s an invincible character in a movie. The only line of his that sticks out is, “I’m on vacation!”

That’s because he says it over and over again. It’s funny the first time, but much like the father-son thing, it’s stretched too far.

The action part of this film is hard to follow. Because of poor editing and way too much shaky cam it’s hard to tell what’s happening (Michael Bay must pay for his sins! – Ed Justin). This is especially true during the car chase near the beginning of the film which goes on  so long that someone might ask themselves, “is this all this movie is going to be?”

There are a lot of forgettable action movies out there, and this one just adds to that list. A Good Day to Die Hard may be a sequel in the famous franchise, but is nothing like the 1988 classic. In fact, it’s quite obvious that this movie will only do as well as it does because of its name. The plotline and director (John Moore) are not enough to make it a huge success. Unfortunately it seems that the Die Hard franchise has become nothing but a money grab.

Alix Vander Vlugt

Perhaps 20th Century Fox should have released A Good Day to Die Hard  on Fathers Day and not Valentines Day. This film reminds us too many times to respect our fathers as they will always bail us out of any situation we find ourselves in.

It is not like the latest addition to the Die Hard franchise isn’t entertaining, it just stretches out the themes it expresses. But then again, when do action movies not do that?

John Mclean (Bruce Willis) journeys over 7500KM to Russia to help his son Jack (Jai Courtney) stop a nuclear weapons heist. The problem here is that the twist can been seen from about 7499 KM away. After an emotional first act Jack enlists his father to help out in all the explosions, helicopter crashes, rooftop jumping, and gunfire any Die Hard fan could ask for.

After a lengthy car chase where John, who previously in the series has had a mortal quality to him, gets run over by at least three cars; the plot thickens in it’s own predictable stew. Any outside help to the good guy American-duo, is killed off and they are left on their own to solve the Scooby-Doo-esqe mystery where the villain’s mask is simply “old-man forgetfulness.”

The good side to this film is the elaborate set dressing, which is especially apparent in a ruined nuclear power plant and several leaps off  seven story tall buildings.

It may be unrealistic but it’s still fun to watch.

It’s entertaining, it’s violent, and it’s a perfect date for both single-son and single-dad. If it has to be released on Valentines Day it might as well remind us that our dads love us unconditionally. It’s simply just another day to Die Hard.


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