The fact that A Good Day to Die Hard returns the Die Hard series to its R-rated roots — thereby allowing the use of “Yippee ki-yay, motherfucker” — and the fact that it looks bound to make a decent chunk of money doesn’t change the fact that this latest entry is pretty dire. And I’m being kind. It’s the sort of film that may please those whose only requirement is that Bruce Willis is onscreen, or those who only care if “shit blows up real neat,” but otherwise this is one tedious mess of a movie — and a noisy one at that. It manages to have only the barest of plots, yet somehow makes even that incoherent and undeveloped. And as if that wasn’t enough, there’s the casting. Apart from Willis, the cast is — well, the biggest name is probably Cole Hauser. Willis is saddled with a son played by some beefcake du jour named Jai Courtney (a great pity his last name isn’t “Guru Deva” or we’d be on our way to a Beatles song). Sonny has landed in the Russian hoosegow, so Willis wanders over to help, resulting in a lot of car chases, shooting, explosions, crashes, and billions of rubles in property damage — none of which seems to even interest the Russian police. Turns out the son is really a CIA operative on a mission that’s never really explained and probably doesn’t matter. The theory seems to be that all that matters is that there are bad guys to be shot by our heroes and bad guys shooting at our heroes. There are double crosses and triple crosses, more property damage, a preposterous climax at Chernobyl, and more apparent lack of interest in any of this by the actual Russian government. The bad guys die violently, the good guys go home, I wanted to go to sleep.
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