Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Good Day To Die Hard - The Kick Ass Kid Review

A Good Day To Die Hard.
Bruce Willis said in the UK, on that dreadful turd of a TV program the One Show, that he didn't get the title, he thought it didn't make much sense. Then he muttered something about a sandwich and appeared to be very high on something.
Actually the title of this film is about the only thing that does make any sense. Honestly. I couldn't tell you what it was about at all but things caught fire, crashed or exploded A LOT.
Which was nice.

Alternative titles might include:
Die Hard The Computer Game: Mission To Moscow because the 3rd act looks exactly like something you might play on an XBox 360 (not that there's really any acts just one thing with Bruce Willis occasionally holding a gun)
Die Hard Another Day (because of a James Bond reference, a James Bond cold war feel and the shitty soundtrack/CGI of the worst of the Bond franchise).

Ok so very quickly, because it pains me to do so, here is what is wrong with the 5th in a franchise that really should've died very hard somewhere around the point Willis thought it was quite reasonable that John McClane, scruffy, alcoholic, divorcee, New York cop hang around atop a spinning F35 fighter jet in the shambolic part 4.
Firstly the script. The script, when the "actors" are called upon to actually use it for the few minutes between leveling another indiscriminate grey communist city block, is appalling. The central premise behind whatever it is the bad guys are doing is never fully explained and the arguing/banter/bonding and joking between Willis and Bland McBeige (who plays his son) is, at its best, stilted and, at its worst, cringe inducing and painful. The CGI is laughable and the majority of the action you've seen in the 57 trailers that were released 6months in advance.
Finally, and this really crushes me, the performances across the board and throughout the film, sadly Willis included, were abysmal. Say what you like about the other 4 films, whether it's the good (Die Hard and Die Hard with a Vengeance) or the not quite as good as the good but still ok (Die Harder and Live Free or Die Hard) Willis's central performance as McClane was always solid. In part 5, however, while the swearing is back and he looks happily at home firing off machine guns, his overall McClane persona is really nowhere to be found. The whole film feels like the actors in a dress rehearsal, wearily trudging through their lines one last time in the hope to make the pub by closing. I am happy, though, to lay the blame for some of this at the script's feet because, it really is, shockingly awful.
Continuing to berate the script and the lackluster performances, the villain/s in Die Hard Another Day, and I am not enjoying saying any of this, are mostly terrible. There were some hopeful glimmers early on as one of the actors attempted to wring some menace and charm from the ham-fisted, cliche ridden, toilet paper pages of the script but, unfortunately, it doesn't really go anywhere. Why couldn't Hans Gruber have more brothers? heck I'd take Gruber's 3rd cousin twice removed over these characterless baddies.
I could go on but it would depress me and then I'd have to ask Willis for whatever relaxing meds he was taking when he made this.
"What you taking there Willis?"

On, then, to the good bits because, believe it or not, despite all its flaws I did enjoy the experience of watching this.
The pacing is good, considering the occasional pauses for some almost vomit inducing asides between the two John McClanes in this picture, for me, it zipped along.
There's a car chase at the beginning which is absolutely phenomenal and very very cool. It was definitely my favourite part of the movie and mainly because I hadn't seen all of it in the aforementioned trailers but also because it was legitimately kick ass.
The other action is good too, shitty CGI not withstanding, it's just that, having seen the trailers, once the characters strolled onto a recognisable set you weren't really caring what they were doing or saying, you were waiting for that bit you'd seen with the helicopter to happen. Thank you marketing team, you bunch of moldy bell ends.
Willis, although not really playing much of a character at all, like I said, looked really at home with a big gun and what humour there was in the film was derived from the ready glee one feels from seeing ol' Brucie mow down some black suited henchmen with a fucking huge weapon.
If you like action there is enough in this to keep you moving along and if you're feeling generous there's even a few solid laughs to be had along the way, it's just that, even being generous, there are nowhere near enough.
Putting this up against the other 3 big action releases this year so far I would say it was the weakest but it's still well worth the price of a cinema ticket and if they make part 6 (like they've promised) I will still go and see it because it's Die Hard, it's action, it's Willis, it's explosions and it's a bit of escapism after a long day dealing with reality.
- The Kick Ass Kid 
What do you mean there's no script?

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