Saturday, February 16, 2013

Mini-Review: A Good Day To Die Hard


We saw AGDTDH yesterday in a digital theater at SM Mall Of Asia. Let me just say that the picture and sound quality was EXCELLENT. It was like watching a film on a HUGE LCD display. Crisp, clear and none of the film projector artifacts ('cigarette burns', reel changes, flutter, graininess). This part of the experience was extremely satisfying. Plus the air conditioning and being able to sit down for an hour and a half after 'gimping' around the mall.

Now to the actual film, which was NOT satisfying. Very loud, lots of explosions, car crashes, etc. Actually, the first 30 minutes of the film were the best. You could walk out of the film after then and not really miss anything.

First - WHO KNEW John McClane had a son? I knew he had a daughter (4th film), but a son? WTH? And he is also named 'John McClane' (but Junior). [Okay, after reading a few other reviews, it seems that a very young son was in a family picture on Holly McClane's desk in 'Die Hard', along with the daughter, Holly, and John McClane. And I'm starting to remember a young boy that was shown briefly in 'Die Harder', when Holly was talking to the maid/sitter on the phone? However, the son was NOT a big presence in _any_ previous Die Hard films].

Second - this film has been drained of all of the humour that was present in the first 4 films. Oh, maybe there was a McClane quip that worked in the very beginning, but all subsequent attempts at McClane one-liners worked about as well as a half-inflated basketball. Even the trademark "Yippee-Ki-Yay" line fell flat. Unforgivable on the director's/writer's part.

The plot? Nothing new or remarkable.

Special effects? The chase scene at the beginning was jaw-dropping, but it all goes downhill from there.

Bruce Willis? He phoned this one in. You could tell he wasn't really enthusiastic about this film. And I think the reason is:

Just like in Indiana Jones, where they attempted to pass the franchise to Shia Lebeef (whatever), they are attempting to pass the Die Hard franchise from John McClane to his formally unknown son, cleverly (NOT) also named John McClane, played by an unknown - and not very good - actor. And I think this irks Bruce Willis to no end.

So, to summarize: Beginning is exciting, the rest SUCKS. I even fell asleep during the film, only waking up to watch when loud gunfire / explosions occurred on the screen later in the film. I did see the helicopter sequence, and there was one shot that made me chuckle - but this film has nowhere near the character of the worst of the previous 4 films in the Die Hard series.

I would recommend that you save your dollars for a better film to watch in the theater, and wait for this pale imitation of a Die Hard film to be released on DVD.

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