Friday, July 5, 2013

DVD/Blu-ray debut: John Moore's A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD -- mediocre dumb fun

And the shits just keep on comin'! The latest is the most recent in the quarter-century-old Die Hard series that began with a smart and entertaining hit before devolving into that other category. How this latest in the series managed to open in Russia, where it takes place and a bit of it was even filmed (most of it was shot in Hungary), given that every Russian we meet in the movie proves to be the scum-of-the-earth (except for one cab driver, shown at bottom, who fancies himself a singer), is certainly a more interesting mystery that what lies at the core of this chase thriller involving politicians, prisoners, arms dealers and the CIA.

Bruce Willis and Jai Courtney play father & son spy types, the latter of whom is arrested and soon to be put on trial in Moscow. He's angry at papa, but Willis heads out to rescue the kid anyway. What a dad! Directed by John Moore and written by Skip Woods, the movie's first and best action sequence involves a courthouse break (as in prison break) and road chase that goes on and on and on, growing crazier and more demented by the minute. Nothing tops this in the upcoming 96 minutes, though it's not for want of trying. There a shootout in a deserted ballroom (with a helicopter gunning for our twosome through the windows and walls, and later a long, somewhat lax sequence in Chernobyl to wrap things up.

Mostly, though, A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD is a cynical (though mostly irony-free) attempt to give us a good time by overdoing everything, including the never more than so-so repartee between father and son. The two take beating together that would kill us ordinary guys, then rise from the floor to go on and beat the shit out of everyone else. Now, we don't expect anything approaching reality in these kinds of movies. Even so, this kick-in-the-head/gut/stomach/crotch scene with the "dancer" is one for the nitwit record books.

There is also, of course, the completely-unnecessary-but-who's-complaining bit of disrobing by the femme fatale (above). If you want to have some additional fun with the film, TrustMovies suggests you go to a site where there's a smart and amusing infographic on the entire Die Hard series created by Alex Hillsberg, with special attention given to this latest addition. The infographic's clever and fun, and you might learn a few things, too.

Otherwise, the movie itself, from 20th Century Fox is out now on DVD and Blu-ray for your delectation and giggles/sniggers.

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