A Good Day to Die Hard (2013)

It was better than the last one.

These are the lasting words you should take away from the review. I was not a fan of the Justin Long vehicle that stained the Die Hard legend with its driving a car through a hovering helicopter. It made Bruce Willis seem like an unbeatable perfectness machine that would be able to do everything perfectly and soar to superhuman heights. It was his character's humanity that made us love him in the previous films, and that was all but lost in that debacle.

We rejoin Bruce as he attempts to help get his son out of Russia; he's being help prisoner there, and for some reason he is being kept with a recently deposed Russian politician. Within the political turmoil, Bruce has to try to protect his son, played by Jai Courtney. When I first saw Jai, I thought it was Cole Hauser, and it made no sense that Bruce would be old enough to be his father. When I later saw Jai interacting with the aforementioned Cole, I caught that they were different people. If any of these actors could play father/son, it would have been these two.

It becomes clear pretty early that his son is there for a reason, and Bruce is just getting in the way. But, through a series of lovable, witty remarks and various people being shot and stuff being blown up, our father and son figure out how to reconnect. Really, it's a father and son story more than anything. Well, aside from all that shooting and the international intrigue, of course, but it's mostly a kind of bromance.

The action is solid throughout. The effects are very well done, just like the previous Die Hards. They used a limited amount of CGI, and they got a pretty good gritty feel for the effects as a result. There are some stunts (another one involving a helicopter) that are excessively dramatic, slowing in the middle like a Matrix fight scene, so we can see the characters reacting to each other. Unfortunately, the real time speed would never have allowed for the various reactions to even happen.

The directing was very good.
Editing was also good.
Acting was fantastic.
Action was good.
Storyline was a bit too cold war.
Dialogue was brief, but effective.
FX were very good.

All told, a good film; does anything compare to the original, though?



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