Feb 212013

Hey!  You’re a big-time movie director all of a sudden and you have a budget to make an action movie based on a successful franchise.  You’re going to shoot the latest Die Hard film, so what choices do you make?

Well, if you happen to be John Moore, you decide to make a derivative, clichéd, boring, pointless piece of pap, but that’s all right.  We all need to turn a dollar and even though you might have shown some early promise as a film maker, we all understand your decision to become a shallow Hollywood hack.

The money is pretty good and that’s what matters.   Right?

Just remember in future that nobody will have the slightest respect for you as a director.  You probably made more from this piece of shit than I’ll make in my entire life, but isn’t it great that, as a member of the movie-going public, I can accuse you of being a cynical hack?  That’s the compact you and I make, we viewers and directors, when we reach into our pockets at the box office and hand over our hard-earned greenbacks.

We get to call your movie shit if it is shit, and it pains me to say, as a fellow Irishman, that John Moore has  made a truly awful movie.


This is the film you’d make if you wanted to include every mistake, cliché and stereotype in the history of cinema.  This is the film you’d make if you didn’t need any plot, script, screenplay or atmosphere.  This is the film you’d make if you wanted no characters, no tension, no development, no pacing and no depth.

This film is bad on an epic scale but at least its cinematic clichés are solid.

Making an action movie in Russia?  Obviously, you’ll need a bald, bare-chested bodybuilder wearing a CCCP tattoo, right?

And of course, you needn’t worry that your plot is full of holes when you have a budget for explosions, a very, very, very long car chase and a helicopter gunship.  Who doesn’t like helicopter gunships firing fifty-calibre tracer?  Note: fifty-calibre tracer can’t harm you as long as you remember to run really slowly.  Note: diving through plate glass windows doesn’t cut you and falling ten storeys is never fatal when a helicopter gunship is firing fifty-calibre shells at you.

I learned a few things watching AGDDH.

  1. There are no police in Moscow.
  2. A wooden bar counter is impervious to high-velocity assault-rifles.
  3. When you hide behind the bar counter with your buddy, the bad guys can’t hit you if you both stand up on the count of three.
  4. Weapons-grade uranium is harmless.
  5. Radiation can be neutralised by spraying it with stuff out of a tanker.
  6. Nobody in Russia reacts to explosions in courthouses, gunfights in the street or  homicidal car-chases through the capital city.
  7. There are no border controls between the countries of the former Soviet Union.


Even by the standards of shit films, A Good Day to Die Hard is a disappointment.  I tried diving slowly head-first through a plate-glass window and falling  onto a moving truck full of broken bottles, but it still caught me and killed me with boredom.

I used to have some vague respect for Bruce Willis until I saw this movie.  His most recent performance in Looper was a well-judged and knowing self-parody, but in this film  he shows no embarrassment at all even though he must know, as an intelligent man, that he’s complicit in churning out a piece of complete shit.

This is a truly poor film.

It’s not even brain-candy, which isn’t such a bad thing occasionally.

This is a film full of poorly-developed characters who don’t relate to each other.  It has no plot.  The story makes no sense.  There’s no tension.   The script was written by a twelve-year-old.  The acting is terrible.

On the positive side, John Moore has discovered a handy way of distracting you from the plot holes, the bad acting and the failure to grab your attention, and to be fair, his solution is genius in its simplicity.  If you’re in danger of nodding off, he blows up another helicopter.

This is a buddies-and-baddies movie.  I’m giving away no secrets when I tell you that at the end, all the baddies are dead and the buddies hobble away from the carnage covered in blood and swapping manly dialogue like this:

Do you go lookin’ for trouble or does it always find you?

I still ask myself the same question.

If you just want to kill a spare ninety minutes with an empty-headed, boring piece of shit, this is the movie for you.

  11 Responses to “A Good Day to Die Hard — Unmitigated Shit”

Comments (11)

    So, did you like it?


    It was great


    All the Die Hard movies were shit though in fairness.
    There’s a new one coming out with Sean Penn – Gangster Squad. That looks good.
    Watched Seven Psychopaths recently, that was fairly alright too.

    I’m not sure if there’s many films that come out that are worth going to the cinema for really. Probably best to download, preview and then take yourself off out gallavanting if you like the look of it?


    If you thought the previous Die Hard movies were shit, you should treat yourself to this one. Anyway it has some great crashes and very slow running away from explosions. And a helicopter.


    I bet I know the ending too.
    John McClane says “yippee ki yay motherfuckers” and then runs into his wife’s arms, alive but barely, runny ketchup all over him.


    This one is about the rivalry with his estranged son, who also happens to be a deranged, psychopathic killer just like his father.

    It’s more of a buddy movie this time, and it has no script. Instead, The buddies make up whatever half-witted lines they can think of. This is cheaper than employing a writer and leaves more money for explosions.


    Willis, the jerk with the permanent smirk; his movies personify to me everything that is meaningless shallow about the US. They glorify mindless arrogant violence.
    I’m not going to bother my arse with Die Hard from Boredom. Tony Hopkins as Hitchcock is worth a look; (Scarlett Johansson as Janet Leigh is alot easier on the eye than Bruce Willis as Bruce Willis–IMHO)


    “It’s more of a buddy movie this time, and it has no script. Instead, The buddies make up whatever half-witted lines they can think of”

    Even unscripted films can be good.
    I think a lot of films by the director Ken Loach are unscripted or heavily improvised.
    This one was quiet good based on Scottish Railway workers (Inspired by true events.)
    It may be on youtube. (English Subtitles are handy for it)
    It’s definitely not glitzy Hollywood stuff, and there’s no Bruce Willis’ in it, but is funny all the same.


    Unscripted films can be good when the actors are committed to the project and not just out to make a buck.


    Yay! John Moore has finally bottomed out! Here, in chronological order, are his Rotten Tomato scores as director:

    37% Behind Enemy Lines

    30% Flight of the Phoenix

    27% The Omen

    16% Max Payne

    and now 16% again for Die Hard 5.

    You been down to the bottom with a bad man, babe. But you’re back where you belong. — Bob Dylan
    The only way is up. — Yazz & The Plastic Population



    The remake of flight of the Phoenix was total shite. I don’t believe he even watched the original, which was great.

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