A Good Day to Die Hard
|A Good Day to Die Hard|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||John Moore|
|Screenplay by||Skip Woods|
by Roderick Thorp
|Music by||Marco Beltrami|
|Edited by||Dan Zimmerman|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Box office||$304.7 million|
A Good Day to Die Hard is a 2013 American action film and the fifth installment of the Die Hard film series. The film was directed by John Moore and written by Skip Woods, and starring Bruce Willis as John McClane. The main plot finds McClane travelling to Russia to get his estranged son, Jack, out of prison, but is soon caught in the crossfire of a terrorist plot. Talks of a fourth sequel to Die Hard (1988) began before the release of Live Free or Die Hard (2007), with Willis affirming that the latter would not be the last in the series, but pre-production did not start until September 2011, when John Moore was officially announced as the director. Filming began in April 2012, primarily in Budapest, Hungary.
A Good Day to Die Hard premiered in Los Angeles on January 31, 2013, coinciding with the unveiling of a Die Hard mural at the Fox Lot, and was released in certain East and Southeast Asian territories on February 7 and in the United States and Canada on Wednesday night February 13. It is the first Die Hard film to use Dolby Atmos Surround Mixing and the first to also be released in IMAX theaters. The film was also the first, unlike the previous films, to be a critical disappointment, receiving mostly negative reviews, but it nevertheless grossed over three times its budget worldwide. It is the first film produced by TSG Entertainment, since distributor 20th Century Fox's departure from Dune Entertainment upon the completion of their distribution contract at the end of 2012.
In Moscow, Viktor Chagarin (Sergei Kolesnikov), a high-ranking, but corrupt Russian official, plans on incriminating political prisoner, former billionaire and government whistleblower, Yuri Komarov (Sebastian Koch), without a fair trial when Komarov refuses to hand over a secret file believed to have convicting evidence against Chagarin. In a separate incident, Jack McClane (Jai Courtney) is arrested as a result of an assassination attempt but agrees to testify against Komarov for a shorter sentence. John McClane (Bruce Willis), who has not been in touch with his son for several years, learns of his son's actions and travels to Russia to help. When John finally arrives and approaches the courthouse that holds Komarov on trial, a bomb explosion orchestrated by Chagarin's henchman Alik (Radivoje Bukvić) occurs in the courthouse, and Jack breaks free with Komarov. Seeing his son, John confronts him, but their dispute is cut short when Alik and his men chase them in a Ural Typhoon MRAP on the streets of Moscow. John, Jack and Komarov manage to escape.
Hiding in a safe house, John finds out that his son has been a CIA officer in an undercover operation for the past three years. Jack's partner, Collins (Cole Hauser), demands the file's location from Komarov so that the CIA can bring Chagarin down, and Komarov agrees to hand it over on condition that he and his daughter are given safe passage out of Russia. But Collins is then shot by Chagarin's men and dies, as The McClanes and Komarov survive subsequent heavy gunfire and escape again. They make their way to a hotel in the city to find the key to a vault containing the file. There, they meet Komarov's daughter, Irina (Yuliya Snigir), whom they earlier planned on joining with, but John grows suspicious of her shifty behavior, and is proven correct when Alik and his men crash in and tie John and Jack up, while Komarov is taken as a hostage, and Irina confesses to snitching on them for the "millions of dollars" to be gained. Jack breaks free of his ties and kills the nearest guards using a Russian gun-knife allowing the two to kill most of the men. Alik and Irina, with Komarov still their hostage, come back on a helicopter and try to kill them, but the two manage to escape.
That night, the two steal a car full of firearms and drive to Pripyat, Ukraine, the location of the vault that houses the file. When they arrive, they find that Komarov, Irina, and Alik have already arrived, but what they don't know is that there was never a file in existence, and that the drawer with the file inside was actually the secret passage to a vault containing a large amount of weapons-grade uranium. Once inside the vault, Komarov kills Alik and calls Chagarin to tell him that he and Irina had manipulated the entire sequence of events since the beginning in an attempt to obtain the uranium and get revenge on Chagarin. Chagarin is then killed by a subordinate of the Komarovs.
At this point, John and Jack enter the vault, discover Komarov's true plot, and capture him. Irina, with another henchman, comes to her father's aid, but before they can escape, Jack goes after Komarov, while John goes after Irina, who is escaping on a Mil Mi-25 helicopter. Irina tries to protect her father by firing the helicopter's cannons at Jack, but John is able to bring the helicopter out of balance by driving a truck in the hangar section, still shackled by a chain, out of the open rear ramp of the helicopter; he is later thrown off into the building. Komarov remarks that Jack will get to watch his father die, which enrages Jack to hurl him off the rooftop into the path of the spinning helicopter's rotors, killing him. As Jack reunites with John inside the building, Irina, wanting to avenge her father, rams the helicopter into the building in a suicide attack, but both father and son survive by leaping off the building and into a large pool of water as the helicopter crashes and explodes, killing Irina. John and Jack go back to New York and reconcile with John's daughter - and Jack's sister - Lucy McClane (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) on the tarmac.
- Bruce Willis as John McClane, a police officer and detective on a "vacation" in Russia to find his arrested son John McClane, Jr.
- Jai Courtney as John "Jack" McClane, Jr., the only son of the senior McClane and a CIA operative on a mission to deliver Komarov and the supposed file.
- Sebastian Koch as Yuri Komarov, a "political prisoner" who is supposedly in possession of an incriminating file.
- Yuliya Snigir as Irina Komarov, Yuri's daughter
- Radivoje Rasha Bukvić as Alik, Chagarin's main enforcer.
- Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Lucy McClane, McClane's oldest child and Jack's older sister.
- Cole Hauser as Mike Collins, a CIA operative and Jack's partner.
- Amaury Nolasco as Murphy, a NYPD detective and McClane's friend.
- Sergei Kolesnikov as Viktor Chagarin, a corrupt, high-ranking Russian official.
- Roman Luknár as Anton, the ill-fated associate of Chagarin that was killed by Jack in the beginning.
- Ganxsta Zolee as MRAP Driver
- Péter Takátsy as Prosecutor
- Pasha D. Lychnikoff as Cabbie
- Megalyn Echikunwoke as Reporter
- Melissa Tang as Lucas
- Ivan Kamaras as G-Wagon Driver
- Sophie Raworth as BBC News reporter (herself)
Production was formally announced in 2010, with X-Men Origins: Wolverine and The A-Team writer Skip Woods confirmed as the film's screenwriter. Noam Murro was originally attached to direct the film but left production to direct the 300 prequel, 300: Rise of an Empire. John Moore was subsequently drafted in to replace him.
The film was originally titled "Die Hard 24/7". The media speculated that the film would be a crossover between the Die Hard and 24 series, with Kiefer Sutherland to reprise his role as Jack Bauer alongside John McClane. This was never confirmed by the studio, and the film's title was later revealed to be A Good Day to Die Hard—with no further mention of any involvement from the 24 series—with a release date of February 14, 2013.
When casting the role of Jack McClane, the studios considered several actors, including Liam Hemsworth and James Badge Dale, before ultimately settling on Australian actor Jai Courtney. Mary Elizabeth Winstead also featured in the film, reprising her role as McClane's daughter Lucy.
Sebastian Koch played the film's primary antagonist, Yuri Komarov, while Yuliya Snigir and Cole Hauser featured as secondary characters Irina and Collins. The cast was completed by actors Amaury Nolasco as a friend of McClane, Pasha D. Lychnikoff as a taxi driver, and Megalyn Echikunwoke, Anne Vyalitsyna, and Ivan Kamaras in smaller roles.
Production began in Hungary in April 2012, with the capital Budapest standing in for Moscow. A military shooting range near Hajmáskér was used for shooting live ammunition, while vehicular stunts were shot at the Hungaroring, a Formula One racing circuit in Mogyoród.
In July 2012, a fire broke out on the set while shooting an aerial stunt, though no one was injured and shooting resumed after a short delay.
In creating the film's visual style, Moore wanted the camera work to be almost entirely handheld, using three 4 Perforation 35mm Arri cameras equipped with long lenses to capture tight close-ups, for Moore explained, "McClane is in a strange world, with little or no initial control over his environment. He's unable to anticipate things as he normally might. He's caught off guard, and we want the camera to mimic that surprise and confusion." Moore also chose to create as many of the film's effects on camera as possible, only using visual effects to enhance elements or paint in backgrounds.
A specially censored version was prepared for theatrical release in the United Kingdom, which was cut for language and violence in order to attain a 12A at the request of the distributors. The U.S. version is rated R and is uncut. The film's audio was mixed in Dolby Atmos surround sound. In February 2013, director Moore began work on a director's cut, which was later released on Blu-ray.
|A Good Day to Die Hard: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack|
|Soundtrack album by Marco Beltrami|
|Released||February 19, 2013|
Marco Beltrami, who had composed the soundtrack for the previous film, Live Free or Die Hard, returned to score A Good Day to Die Hard. Beltrami again incorporates Michael Kamen's material from the first three films into his score. Beltrami only had six weeks in which to write the music, and new scenes were still being shot as the music was being recorded. In the end, he wrote around 120 minutes of music, with 80 of those minutes making it into the final film. The soundtrack album was released on February 14, 2013 digitally and in retailers by Sony Classical. Five orchestrators were involved: Pete Anthony, Jon Kull, Dana Niu, Rossana Galante, Andrew Kinny. The orchestra was conducted by Pete Anthony.
The score was programmed by Buck Sanders, with additional music composed by Marcus Trumpp and Brandon Roberts.
All music composed by Marco Beltrami.
|1.||"Yuri Says, “привет”"||2:19|
|2.||"Getting Yuri to the Van"||2:14|
|3.||"Jack Makes the Call"||2:53|
|4.||"Everyone to the Courthouse"||3:09|
|6.||"Truckzilla (Act 1)"||3:38|
|7.||"Yippie Kay Yay, Mother Russia!"||1:54|
|8.||"Truckzilla (Act 2)"||2:00|
|9.||"Father & Son"||1:24|
|10.||"To the Safe House"||1:51|
|12.||"Leaving the Safe House"||1:59|
|13.||"Getting to the Dance Floor"||1:34|
|14.||"Too Many Kolbasas on the Dance Floor"||3:53|
|15.||"What's So Funny?"||2:30|
|16.||"McClanes Get the Bird"||3:00|
|19.||"Into the Vault"||2:17|
|20.||"Rubbed Out at the Spa"||2:07|
|22.||"Get to the Choppa!"||2:59|
|24.||"It's Hard to Kill a McClane"||2:59|
|25.||"Triple Vodka Rhapsody"||1:55|
On January 31, 2013, 20th Century Fox held a special tribute to the 25th anniversary of the Die Hard series by unveiling a mural of a scene from Die Hard (1988) on Sound Stage 8 of the Fox Lot. Afterward, the premiere screening of A Good Day to Die Hard was shown. Two additional premieres were held in Europe leading up to the film's commercial release: one in Berlin, Germany on February 4 and the second in London, England on February 7. A Good Day to Die Hard was commercially released first in Indonesia on February 6, 2013, and then opened in certain East and Southeast Asian territories on February 7.
In the United States and Canada, the film was distributed to 2,328 theaters for night showings on February 13. Select theaters also held a one-time special marathon of all Die Hard films to lead up to A Good Day to Die Hard's nationwide release, with Bruce Willis making a personal appearance at one of these marathons in New York City to thank fans. The film then expanded to a total of 3,553 theaters, including IMAX theaters, on February 14.
A Good Day to Die Hard was widely panned by critics. Based on 210 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, the film received a 14% approval rating from critics, with an average score of 3.9/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "A Good Day to Die Hard is the weakest entry in a storied franchise, and not even Bruce Willis' smirking demeanor can enliven a cliched, uninspired script." By comparison, Metacritic gave the film a score of 28 out of 100, based on 40 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable" reaction. On both websites, the film ranked lowest among the Die Hard films.
A. O. Scott of The New York Times described A Good Day to Die Hard as "a handful of extended set pieces—each more elaborate and therefore somehow less exciting than the last—linked by a simple-minded plot and a handful of half-clever lines." Though complimenting the special effects, he criticizes the direction of John Moore, the lack of style, and writes that "everything that made the first Die Hard memorable—the nuances of character, the political subtext, the cowboy wit—has been dumbed down or scrubbed away entirely." Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter expressed similar sentiments, particularly of the direction, for which he says that Moore "has directed these sequences in a way that makes the incidents look so far-fetched and essentially unsurvivable that you can only laugh". Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times gave the film a 2/5 and remarked that it lacked "inspiration", and that the onscreen rivalry of Willis and Courtney was "more irritant than enticement." Richard Roeper, standing in for Roger Ebert on Ebert's website, rated the film one and a half stars out of four, criticizing the implausibility of the action sequences, as well as the film's lack of sufficient characterization for McClane and the villains as compared to the other films in the series. He says that "McClane has been stripped of any real traces of an actual three-dimensional character," and that the film "never giv[es] us a chance to get the least bit involved with any of these characters."
Among the rare positive reviews, Robbie Collin for The Telegraph remarked that "Yet even though the ride finally stalls, A Good Day To Die Hard has been thrustingly outrageous enough in its earlier moments to coast to the finish line on momentum.". Chris Tookey of the Daily Mail tabloid paper described the film as "...as stupid in its way as The Expendables 1 and Taken 2, and nowhere near the quality of the first three Die Hards. But if you approach it as I did, in a mood for preposterous action and massive explosions, it does deliver escapist entertainment and it’s mercifully shorter than Die Hard 4. In a week as bad as this in the cinema, it is the only new movie I would have paid to see." Tookey then gave the final verdict as being "Entertaining, but dumb." along with a 3/5 star rating. Daniel M. Kimmel, writing for the New England Movies Weekly, found the film to be better than Live Free or Die Hard and states that the car chase scene "is well worth the price of admission." With a 3.5/5 rating, Kimmel summed up his review saying, "it's probably a good day to end the series at last, but it's an action-packed and entertaining finale." Rick Groen of The Globe and Mail criticized the action scenes as being "messy", but concluded his review saying that the film "continues the franchise without undue embarrassment." Peter Howell of The Toronto Star remarked that Willis and Courtney made a strong estranged family duo and that the film had a nice drinking game routine going for it with how many times McClane exclaims "I'm on vacation!" during the running time.
A Good Day to Die Hard grossed $67,349,198 in North America and $237,304,984 in other territories for a worldwide total of $304,654,182, roughly three times its $92 million budget.
In North America, A Good Day to Die Hard grossed an estimated $840,000 from its night showings at 2,328 locations on Wednesday, February 13, 2013. The next day, at an additional 1,225 locations, the film managed to accumulate $8,239,116, opening at #2 behind Safe Haven. However, for the whole 4-day Presidents' Day weekend, A Good Day to Die Hard opened in first place with $28,640,657, bringing its total at that point to $36,879,773.
Overseas, A Good Day to Die Hard grossed $10,860,000 in its first weekend. Opening in seven Asian markets at 1,182 locations a week before North America's release (February 6–7) to take advantage of the Chinese New Year holiday, the majority of the film's gross came from South Korea, with the film also setting a Fox record in Indonesia and a series record in Hong Kong.
A Good Day to Die Hard was released on DVD and Blu-ray on June 4, 2013. There is an extended cut that is only available on the Blu-ray version. It features a longer car chase through Moscow and some other slightly extended scenes. It also completely removes Lucy from the film.
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- Official website
- A Good Day to Die Hard at the Internet Movie Database
- A Good Day to Die Hard at Box Office Mojo
- A Good Day to Die Hard at Rotten Tomatoes
- A Good Day to Die Hard at Metacritic