Review: A Good Day to Die Hard

Poster for 2013 action film A Good Day to Die Hard

Genre: Action
Certificate: 12
UK Release Date: 14th February 2013
Runtime: 97 minutes
Director: John Moore
Writer: Skip Woods
Starring: Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney
Synopsis: In Russia looking for his estranged son, John McClane discovers he is father to a CIA agent and becomes embroiled in an undercover mission.




Look back to 1988. The first Die Hard movie was everything an action film should be. It combined an identifiable and clearly human hero with one-line zingers galore, a solid plot, great set pieces and Alan Rickman as one of the greatest cinematic villains ever.

Fast-forward a few decades and things have gone horribly wrong.

A Good Day to Die Hard is a mess. Plot is entirely foregone in favour of huge amounts of shooting, chasing and exploding. There is very little dialogue as it only really serves to provide exposition to link the set pieces, which is a far cry from the plot and character-driven original movie. In fact, the only running thread seems to be Bruce Willis and Jai Courtney competing to see who can fall through the most windows.

It has been argued by some that A Good Day to Die Hard is perfectly fine because it doesn’t have lofty ambitions – a trashy action flick is all it’s trying to be. There’s nothing wrong with trashy action flicks… but there’s so much wrong with A Good Day to Die Hard.

A central problem is that this film has had all of its rough edges snipped away. In order to acquire the lucrative 12A certificate, cuts were made to some of the movie’s more choice moments, including Bruce Willis’ signature line, which is becoming a depressing shell of its original cult success. It’s a growing problem in cinema and A Good Day to Die Hard might be the most depressing example yet.

Bruce Willis looks like he would rather be in any other film, delivering his lines with absolutely zero gusto and simply blundering about as if going through the motions. Jai Courtney entirely lacks presence as Jack, making blindingly obvious the incredible vacuum of chemistry between the two of them.

The villain is unoriginal. The plot is stupid and almost non-existent. The ending is far-fetched. The acting is terrible. The direction is too hyperactive. The script is back of fag packet awful.

The problems just stretch on and on.

Even as the “geri-action” genre thrives with the help of Stallone and Schwarzenegger, it’s time for this franchise to die… hard.


Do you agree with my review? Let me know in the comments section.

One thought on “Review: A Good Day to Die Hard

  • 27/02/2013 at 15:17

    Just not the type of Die Hard movie I would have wanted to see. Hopefully, they have one more, make it awesome, act as if this movie never happened, and just end it on a high-note, rather than this crap. Good review.


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