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HindustanTimes Wed,17 Sep 2014

Critics review: A Good Day to Die Hard is the worst of the franchise

Hindustantimes.com   February 22, 2013
First Published: 14:43 IST(22/2/2013) | Last Updated: 15:20 IST(22/2/2013)

Film: A Good Day to Die Hard
Director: John Moore
Cast: Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney
Plot: In Moscow, Russia, Viktor Chagarin (Sergei Kolesnikov), a high-ranking but corrupt Russian official, plans on incriminating political prisoner and government whistleblower Yuri Komarov (Sebastian Koch) without a fair trial when Komarov refuses to hand over a secret file believed to have convicting evidence against Chagarin. In a separate incident, Jack McClane (Jai Courtney) is arrested as a result of an assassination, but agrees to testify against Komarov for a shorter sentence. John McClane (Bruce Willis), who has not been in touch with his son for years, learns of Jack's whereabouts and circumstances and decides to go to Russia to help him out. When John arrives and approaches the courthouse that happens to currently hold Jack and Komarov on trial, an explosion orchestrated by Chagarin and his henchmen occurs in the courthouse, and Jack breaks free with Komarov. Seeing his son, John confronts him, but their dispute is cut short when the henchmen, led by Alik (Radivoje Bukvic), chase them on the streets of Moscow, but John, Jack, and Komarov manage to escape. From there the story goes on.

Scott Mendelson, Huffington Post

As my father likes to say, if you don't quit while you're ahead, you'll never be ahead.  By all rights, Live Free or Die Hard (trailer 01) should have been terrible.  It came Twelve years after the previous installment, was helmed by the likes of Len Wiseman (a man who managed to make a movie about vampires fighting werewolves boring), ended up with a PG-13, and held back from the press for as long as humanly possible.  Yet, thanks to strong action sequences and a story very much concerned with John McClane coming to terms with his metaphorical death (IE -- irrelevance), the fourth entry was just good enough to justify its existence.  But the McClane luck has officially run out.  A Good Day to Die Hard is a terrible film, one of the very worst theatrical movies I have ever seen.  It's willfully stupid, lacking in basic character chemistry and narrative discipline, officially turning John McClane into a borderline insane anti-social lunatic.  It has nothing worth recommending.  A Good Day to Die Hard is basically the movie we all thought we were getting six years ago.

Verdict:  A Good Day to Die Hard is the worst theatrical action picture I've seen in recent memory.

Joe Morgenster, The Wall Street Journal

For anyone who remembers the Die Hard adventures at their vital and exciting best, this film feels like a near-death experience.

Bruce Willis is back as John McClane, once an intrepid police detective but now a busybody parody of his younger self. In the travesty that passes for a plot, McClane goes to Moscow to find his estranged son, Jack (Jai Courtney), who is actually, which is to say, absurdly, a CIA operative assigned to protect Sebastian Koch's Russian whistleblower, who, in turn…but all of this is on a need-to-know basis, and all you need to know is that the car chases are visual gibberish, most of the 97-minute running time is devoted to people shooting at one another, the magazines on their assault weapons contain thousands of rounds, Mr. Courtney's charms range from undetectable to nil and the movie, directed by John Moore, plays on the theme of father-and-son reconciliation with the finesse of a primate taught to play "Chopsticks."

Verdict: A Good Day to Die Hard is the meltdown of a once-formidable franchise.

Chris Tookey, Daily Mail

On any serious level, it’s deplorable, but  it’s so macho a vision of old age that it becomes quaintly enjoyable. Willis is charismatic in his most iconic screen persona, the car chases and explosions really are spectacular and it’s endearing that even after all this time the villains still haven’t learned to shoot straight.

This is a very dumb movie, as stupid in its way as The Expendables 1 and Taken 2, and nowhere near the quality of the first three Die Hards. But if you approach it as I did, in a mood for preposterous action and massive explosions, it does deliver escapist entertainment and it’s mercifully shorter than Die Hard 4.

Yuliya Snigir plays the daughter of a political prisoner and government whistleblower Yuri KLomarov (played by Sebastian Koch).

Verdict: Entertaining, but dumb

Tushar Joshi, DNA
A Good Day to Die is the weakest Die Hard film in the entire series. Well, that doesn’t mean the predecessors were any good. In fact if you look at the graph of the films, barring the 1988 Die Hard, everything else that followed looked like an attempt to compensate for the lack of content by coming up with gimmicky titles(Die Hard 2, Die Hard with a Vengeance, Live Free or Die Hard and A Good Day to Die Hard).

Veridct: A Good Day to Die Hard ends up embarrassing its fans making you to wish Willis would earn his bread and butter doing other roles and let John McClane rest in peace (R.I.P).

David Edelstein, New York magazine

I didn’t think it was physically possible to doze off at a movie as loud as A Good Day to Die Hard, but for a few moments — while Bruce Willis as New York detective John McClane and the slab of beefcake going by the name of Jai Courtney as his son, John Jr., were being chased around Moscow by … well, chasers, and McClane was having another wry chuckle over why mayhem seems to follow him everywhere — my mind found some distant, peaceful refuge, leaving behind a swirl of ink on my notepad from a thin line of drool, like a drowsy filigree.

Verdict: I think I fell asleep to keep from getting even more depressed. Every scene is a little death.



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