Bruce Willis's new Die Hard has a bad day with critics
It might be time for John McClane to bow out after 'A Good Day to Die Hard' is panned by critics
THE day may finally have arrived for Bruce Willis to hang up his gun and "stop dying", after the Village Voice described the latest instalment of the Die Hard franchise as a film that "breaks new ground in incoherence and stupidity".
A Good Day to Die Hard, which opens in UK cinemas today, is the fifth episode in the action series. Willis, 57, reprises his role as the hard-bitten New York cop John McClane, who travels to Moscow to look for his estranged son, a CIA agent played by Jai Courtney. It isn't long before Moscow becomes the backdrop to a violent battle between the McClanes and a Russian oligarch (played by Sergey Kolesnikov) and his private army.
Writing in the Village Voice, Alan Scherstuhl says the fast-cut editing is particularly disorientating and makes the movie appear to be constructed like "a window some kid broke and then tried to glue back together".
The Guardian's Xan Brooks also felt confused as Willis and Courtney follow a trail of bullets and explosions that leads them to Chernobyl, site of the 1986 nuclear catastrophe.
The film is "forever rattling between connections, bull-headed and brazen, its travel-bag stuffed with dirty washing from all the previous Die Hard movies, writes Brooks. "I don't think it knows where it's going. I'm not even sure it cares."
Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Robbie Collin offers some lukewarm praise, suggesting that even though the film goes "quickly downhill" when its heroes begin an interminable shoot-out on Chernobyl's "clanking metal gantries", it has enough momentum to "coast" to the final credits.
The Hollywood Reporter's Todd McCarthy isn't so sure. He says A Good Day to Die Hard is a "bad day at the office" for the 25-year old franchise and describes the action scenes as horribly disorientating. Director John Moore's "jittery cameras" look like they're "mounted on a vibrating bed rather than a tripod and operated by little kids who've just been shown the zoom button," says McCarthy.