Sunday, 17 February 2013

242, A Good Day to Die Hard

A Good Day to Die Hard is basically the title for Die Hard 5 - the most recent in a series of movies now spanning 25 years!  I know, 25 years since Bruce Willis became John McClane should make most of you feel really old but the question is, have the movies stayed current? (albeit Bruce's hair has not)  Well, the critics slated this one as the worst in the franchise to date and most will agree that Die Hard 2 was the best of the rest but with no news yet on if there will be a 6th, we'll just have to see for ourselves.

Lets start by being critical - some of the stunts here are pretty over the top - don't get me wrong - that can be a good thing and it certainly works with the car crashes and helicopter stunts but some of what McClane deals with would make the worlds hardest man shed a tear - let alone a near 60 year old N.Y cop.

The one that got me way being hurled from a helicopter through a skyscraper window many stories above the ground and getting up with literally a scratch and a bloodied white vest - classic McClane and completely unbelievable.  The problem is, it works.  It wouldn't be the same without it and although you may moan and groan, the screen I was in was packed to bursting so believable or not - people still want to watch a Die Hard movie.

McClane hasn't really done it alone though - assisted by Janitors & Groundsmen in the first two he has had help - most effectively from Samuel L Jackson in the 3rd instalment and IT geek Justin Long in 4.0 .  This time, the kids get involved with son Jack McClane (Jai Courtney) as the obviously disgruntled off spring - angry at 'dear old dad' for all those years of never being around and now a CIA spy himself, ends up working alongside his elusive father to bring down a terrorist cell, hell bent on global destruction.  Perfect bonding material!

This movie is non stop action fest from start to finish - I barely remember 5 minutes passing where there isn't some form of outlandish stunt, huge explosion or epic car chase - all rounded off nicely with significant gun fire and plenty of breaking glass.  The problem is though, its only a 12 A - quite a comedown from the original 18 Cert(?) that part 1 commanded back in the day and that's a shame - there is no Yippee-ki-yay Mother F***** in this instalment - although he nearly gets it out at the end but its sadly cut off too early thanks to yet another explosion.  In addition, the rest of the movie does seem to lack a certain flair for bad language that previous outings so openly embraced, but this does mean a whole new audience can come along to watch and when they are old enough, go back and watch the classic prequels to this franchise.

There is not much else to write - they certainly haven't re-written the rule book on this movie, in fact - they have played it relatively safe but I do have one niggling issue with it, and its the same as Sly's Bullet to the Head - you cant hear a word he says!  Willis is so softly spoken in this movie and due to the constant background noise and explosive soundtrack that accompanies most of the action - you really struggle to keep up with whats going on. 

If you are after a no brainer action flick then to be fair, its better than Sly's and Arnie's recent contributions and Willis too is not slowing down with Red 2 due out later this year, another Sin City in the pipeline and a movie version of the console game Kane & Lynch (no release date set) we will have plenty more to look forward too over the next few years.