A good day to die hard – Top 10 reasons it just doesn’t cut it

February 21, 2014

“A Good Day to Die Hard” was the fifth film in the “Die Hard” franchise. If it was truly the best that Bruce Willis and his team of filmmakers can do, let’s hope that there isn’t a sixth.

1. It Didn’t Feature John McClane


While the film starred Bruce Willis playing a character called “John McClane,” it definitely wasn’t the wisecracking and fun John McClane from films in the series past. John McClane has always been the underdog.

He’s the character who is in over his head to a massive degree, which is one of the major reasons why we as an audience choose to root for him. The character in “A Good Day to Die Hard” was dour to an extreme degree and was something out of a completely different type of movie. He was no longer an underdog – he was Rambo on steroids.

2. It Had None of the Trademark “Die Hard” Charm


One of the major components of the “Die Hard” series has always been a certain sense of charm. If you went to see “Die Hard,” “Die Hard 2: Die Harder,” “Die Hard With a Vengeance” or “Live Free or Die Hard” you knew you were in for a good time.

The plot of the film wasn’t always believable, but you still enjoyed yourself while you saw the events unfold in front of you on screen. “A Good Day to Die Hard” is completely different in that it is a very serious movie to its detriment. There is little fun to be had, even though “Die Hard” is one of the most fun series of films of all time.

3. The Villain Was Weak


Another strong point in the “Die Hard” film series is that each film has always had a strong villain. Hans Gruber, the terrorist who gives John McClane a hard time in the first film, is one of the best cinematic villains of all time.

Portrayed with ease by Alan Rickman, Gruber is classy and sophisticated, all the while being completely chilling as his plan slowly unfolds.

The villain in “A Good Day to Die Hard” has absolutely none of these characteristics. He manages to be both a caricature of Russian villains of the 1980s and completely boring at the same time.

4. Bruce Willis Looks Bored


A movie is usually only as good as its star.

When an action movie star is funny and charismatic as well as a true hero, as Willis was in the original “Die Hard,” audiences can’t help but root for him. The Bruce Willis of “Die Hard” is filled with energy and victor. You can’t help but sit up on the edge of your seat while you’re watching him.

The Bruce Willis of “A Good Day to Die Hard,” on the other hand, looks completely uninterested and disengaged with the entire film. If the star looks like he doesn’t want to be in the movie, don’t be surprised when the audience doesn’t want to watch the movie.

5. It Featured Action for Action’s Sake


One of the great things about the original “Die Hard” was that it was surprisingly character driven. Though it featured a great deal of thrilling action sequences, they all came out of the actions of the characters that we were being introduced to on screen.

John McClane wasn’t a member of the military – he was a cop who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. As a result, the fight sequences are dirty and brutal. “A Good Day to Die Hard” features action sequences that are far too slick and polished for a film bearing the “Die Hard” name.

6. Jai Courtney Isn’t a Leading Man


“A Good Day to Die Hard” features Jai Courtney as John McClane’s estranged son, Jack. The two characters are supposed to have an arc that is very similar to McClane and his wife from the first “Die Hard” film.

The problem, however, comes from the fact that Jai Courtney is absolutely not leading man material. He can’t hold his own against a cinematic titan like Bruce Willis.

Because Bruce Willis looks so bored and disinterested, he also has to carry a great deal of the film on his shoulders. He comes off bland and boring, much like the rest of the film itself.

7. It Was Too “Over the Top”


“Die Hard” was all about action that took place in a very confined space. It was a film so successful that it started a genre. It spawned a large number of different imitators over the years, including “Speed” which was essentially “Die Hard on a Bus.”

The action sequences in “A Good Day to Die Hard” go completely against everything that the first film helped to create.

John McClane should be hiding under tables and fist fighting with terrorists. He shouldn’t be leaping from buildings onto helicopters (or vice versa). Leave those types of action sequences to the “Lethal Weapon” films.

8. It Wasn’t Interesting


One of the many strengths of the original “Die Hard” was that it was so interesting.

John McClane, Holly, Ellis and the rest of the cast were so fun to watch that you wouldn’t mind watching a comedy or drama with them if Hans Gruber had never showed up to try to take over the Nakatomi building. “A Good Day to Die Hard,” on the other hand, has none of those positive attributes.

The series biggest asset of Willis himself is essentially gone as the star looks so bored. As a result, all of those character interactions and other elements that help make the film interesting are largely gone as well.

9. The Plot Was a Convoluted Mess


Most of the other films in the “Die Hard” series have very basic plots. They usually involve a terrorist who shows up at some point to wreck havoc on a small group of people. John McClane initially thinks he has the terrorist’s plan figured out, only to later discover that he was wrong and the true plan is something much more sinister.

Though the films had a tried and true formula, they never got too complicated for their own good. The plot of “A Good Day to Die Hard” is absolutely a convoluted mess that makes no sense.

It has plot holes so wide you could drive a truck through them and it is difficult to tell which characters are trying to accomplish which goals at any given time.

10. It Is Badly Directed


“Die Hard” will go down in history as being one of the best directed action films of all time. It was helmed by John McTiernan, who would also go on to direct films like “The Hunt for Red October” and “Predator.”

The film looked as grim and dirty as the characters on screen. The direction style of the original “Die Hard” was a large part of the film’s charm.

“A Good Day to Die Hard”, on the other hand, is badly directed in a variety of ways. The camera shakes so much during action sequences that it is almost impossible to tell who is doing what at any given time.