Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A (Not So) Good Day to Die Hard

The latest installment resembles the original Die Hard only in that it stars Bruce Willis and things blow up from time to time. To call Skip Woods' screenplay idiotic and ill-conceived would be an understatement. I've actually enjoyed every other Die Hard film so far, but the latest one chooses to put John McClane (Willis) in the role of comic relief while centering the movie around John's thoroughly uninteresting son (Jai Courtney).

The plot, such as it is, involves evil Russian scientists and billionaires (Sebastian KochSergei Kolesnikov) who caused Chernobyl (on purpose). I swear I'm not making this up; somebody actually thought this was a good idea for a movie. Throw in McClane catching a plane to Russia to see his estranged son who has been arrested (but is really part of a super-secret CIA mission) and you've got a complicated mess of a story involving uninspired twists, shifting loyalties, and betrayal.

The choice to move Willis in the supporting role is bad, but the choice of the wood Courtney is even worse as the charmless actor can do nothing to save the story. Other than providing the only sense of fun in the entire proceedings, Willis other main job seems to be constantly pointing out how wrong his son is about everything action-related choice he makes and then apologizing for largely abandoning both him and his sister (Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who appears in a pair of quick cameos) years ago.

If the story is dumb the action is even worse. Given the high amount of CGI special effects and laughably bad slow motion shots, the movie doesn't even look like it belongs to the same franchise. I can't believe this movie actually got made.

The Blu-ray of this theatrical atrocity includes and even longer version of the movie (God help us!), a digital copy of the movie, the trailer, a concept art gallery, commentary from director John Moore, deleted scenes, an extensive behind-the-scenes documentary on the making of the film (which involved far more filmmaking ability than the movie itself), and a series of featurettes on the film's car chases, the father/son relationship, John McClane's return to the big screen, the film's villains, and a look at the movie's action sequences and special effects.

[20th Century Fox, Blu-ray $39.99 / DVD $29.98]

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