A Good Day to Die Hard (John Moore, 2013)

Bruce Willis, I first came to know him since the TV series era, Moonlighting (from year 1985 to 1989), the non stop bickering between him and Cybill Shepherd, the wonderful chemistry from the odd couple. This Moonlighting Theme Song reminds me of used to glue to the show regularly on channel TV3 on 11:30pm (or is it 12:30 midnight?). Saying that kind giving away my age. I am not that old, mind you.

The previous Die Hard movies are always about the right man at the wrong place and wrong time. The reluctant hero is always forced to take matters into his own hands in a confined location with race against the clock. Bruce Willis reprised his role as New York City police detective John McClane for the fifth time.This time, His NYPD badge means nothing when he goes to Moscow looking for his now grown up son Jack (Jai Courtney did not annoy me with his performance here), who was imprisoned for an assassination incident. The problem escalates when a high rank ex-Russia government officer executes a sinister plan to smuggle nuclear weapon (whole lots of uranium based canisters) for reason that I did not fully aware (sorry I must have blank stare moment during the scene they mentioned it). Obviously the father and son team up to stop them.

 No brainer to say it is always a tough act to follow the first Die Hard, I mean this was the movie which re-invented the action genre back in late 80s. Those days, it was a timely antidote to the invulnerable action movie protagonists such as Arnold, Stallone, Van Damme, Norris who so used to blast off their enemies without making much sweat. Two decades later you still find the concept of "Die Hard on a...... (fill in the blank: train, stadium, boat, bus, plane etc). Die Hard 2 and 3 did not embarrassed their predecessor. When it comes to the forth one - Live Free or Die Hard, you start to feel hmmm..... this is really stretching the point of being a proper Die Hard movie.

Let me tell you what is wrong is AGDtDH: The plot and John McClane. I did not have the EXCITEMENT of watching a Die Hard movie. What happen to the wise cracking everyman hero that I used to know? McClane mocked the villains delivering witty lines, and oh who can forget his smirk! I dare you not to cringe at some poor dialogue, "You know what I hate about the Americans? Everything!", the carrot chewing villain scorned, the said villain with his superior have about one tenth of Hans Gruber on Flamboyant Metre scale. The same villain's SWAT-like team possess one tenth of Simon Gruber's IQ, They line up and are shot down one after one like a sack of spud. I was expecting to see the vulnerable McClane, but what I get here is him doing some superhero stunt with his son. And the indisputable proof of how much Die Hard's writing had fall from grace is the repetition of "I am on vacation", McClane quipped four times through out the movie, as if the screewriter wants to coin another immortal catchphrase from "Yippee ki yay, motherf**ker". The "I am on vacation" line is totally corny and out of place.
Bruce Willis looks bored and tired. (Read: not acts to look tired, but Bruce seems not really bother to be in McClane role). The only saving grace is the high tempo cars chase scene at near beginning of the movie, where McClane Sr hijack a Mercedes Unimog SUV in pursuit of an armoured tank like vehicle which in turn on the trail of McClane Jr. Overall It is only a half-ass effort from the movie studio to cash in the diminishing Die Hard brand, in other words, a stripped-down sequel nothing more than a poor attempt made to appeal to younger audience.

1 star = Pathetic, SowYau feel ashamed of watching it  
2 stars = Off the mark material, approach with caution
3 stars = Generally good, you should watch it if it's your favourite genre
4 stars = Excellent, strongly recommended
5 stars = A classic status? Only time will tell. But it is definitely in SowYau's Hall of Fame List