A Good Day to Die Hard Review: Bad Russian Lesson

A Good Day to Die Hard 2013

The beginning of this Die Hard installment felt a bit weird. The exposition was very fast but in the same time very vague and somehow empty of content. Everything that got to do with the smaller issues of the main plot was difficult to grasp.

Yippe kai yay mother fucker by John McClane aka Bruce Willis
Bruce Willis trade mark slogen
There were a lot of elements in the film that I missed and it was somehow difficult to understand the right direction of the movie. I suspect that the main reason for that is the attempt of the American actors to speak Russian. Whoever speaks fluent Russian (like me) and hears something like those heavy mispronounced dialogs, wants to shoot himself in the head. That’s how bad it was. It’s not only demeaning for the movie but it’s a complete humiliation for the actors who need to perform those horribly pronounced phrases and dialogs in Russian. I just don’t get it, don’t they have Russian speaking guides to guide the actors how to pronouns the 1.5 senesces they have to speak out in the movie, any way they did a horrible job. It’s great that Bruce Willis tries to look funny speaking Russian but for me it just looked sad because I didn’t get one word he tried to pitch to the Russian Taxi driver. I guess the Joke is on you Bruce. If you cut off all the Russian text out (and there was considerably a lot of it), replace it with English text (you can through there an English text syntax with a Russian accent and it would work fine) the movie could have flown a lot smoother.

On the bright side of things it’s Die hard, so no matter whatever I missed out in the main plot John McClane would have compensated by blowing stuff up, and he did. The car chases at the beginning with all of the action sequenses during the movie were supreme; there were a lot of them in the film. 
John McClane
John McClane (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The interaction between John McClane (Bruce Willis) and his son Jack McClane was somehow tolerable although I was not really sold on Jai Courtney as being in the position he was given in A Good Day to Die Hard. I didn’t see nothing special from him in this Die Hard chapter that you can say “WOW this guy is the next hot thing”. I think that Jai Courtney was brought to this Die Hard film to give it some sort of young blood credibility. Bruce Willis is pretty old (he looked the part in the movie) so they needed a younger version of a McClane to perform all the heavy lifting regarding the action spots (although Willis himself had his share of crazy spots as well). Courtney wasn’t bad he did what was expected of him but other than that there was nothing worth mentioning. A Good Day to Die Hard will be the highlight of Jai Courtney's career because after the dust settles he will be forgotten once again.

Overall like you already guessed A Good Day to Die Hard was slightly disappointing, the fact that Bruce Willis stepped aside and played a sort of a secondary role for Jai Courtney didn’t help. I came to see Bruce Willis rack stuff I didn’t sign up for bad Russian lessons or to see Jai Courtney fail on the big screen as a one movie action star. Other than that A Good Day to Die Hard is a watchable action film that you will forget all about the next day.

Die Hard DVD Collection (Amazon)

A Good Day to Die Hard (Blu-ray / DVD + Digital Copy) Die Hard [Blu-ray]
Die Hard 2 - Die Harder [Blu-ray]Die Hard 3: Die Hard With a Vengeance (Blu-ray / DVD Combo)
Live Free or Die Hard [Blu-ray]
Die Hard: 25th Anniversary Collection (Die Hard / Die Hard 2: Die Harder / Die Hard with a Vengeance / Live Free or Die Hard / Decoding Die Hard) [Blu-ray]
photo credit: FRKZARTZ via photopin cc

About Sasha Shapiro

Sasha is the founder and editor of Cool Reviews Rule. He is very passionate about Movies, TV Shows and some Books. His favorite genres are: Action, Fantasy, History, Horror, Sci-fi and Adventure.
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  1. Yes, I also am not a fan of films (& real life) where people try to speak another language, awkwardly. They were trying to show how capable these people were with another language & it failed.

    Except with those that don't speak Russian, which was the point because very few people in the English speaking world speak Russian. You can't blame the actors they're just following a script written by someone that knows Russian & they're taught to pronounce by a coach. Even fewer people can speak another language without a light to heavy accent.

  2. most of the blame is on the coaches.

    In today's world Blockbasters like A good day to die hard are seen all over the world including Russia (population of ~200 Million) and the rest of the Slavian nation who mostly understand Russian (because their own langueage is very similar to Russian). Ehen all those people see something horrible like those dialogs it makes everything look bad. The actors, the director, the producer, the studio and most importantly the movie itself.
    i dont have a problem with the accent, its hard to lose it but even with an accent the dialog can be understood. in this Die Hard it was not the case.

    A Good Day to Die Hard
    A Good Day to Die Hard

  3. What is trying to be portrayed are people that are familiar with Russia & "Conversant" in Russian. Not necessarily fluent. It's not really a valid criticism to say they're not speaking it well.
    When English speaking people watch a film & they come across a foreigner who is speaking Understandable English, they don't criticize. No one (except the petty) expect to see someone foreign to a culture, not speaking it Fluently.
    This kind of behavior by non-English Speaking peoples is considered rude & unacceptable. It is ignored by the English Speaking world & is a reason that English speakers value other peoples less. Rudeness by ingrates is always expected. Always.
    For whatever reason, your education most likely, you speak & are fluent in English. But you're missing one little detail about English Speakers, as I've just detailed.
    As English is the official International Language of Commerce & the only real global language; it is a honor that a native English Speaker even bothers to speak another language.
    Food for thought, eh? Very few of us will spell this out for the rest of the planet. Now, don't you feel honored? ;-)
    All in all, none of it matters. People will criticize English Speakers for not being fluent in their particular jibberjabber - & then wonder why no one wants to learn Russian, French or Spanish.

  4. Its great that English Speaker bothers to speak another language but when you do it so bad there is nothing to be honored about.

  5. & non-English speakers are always able to speak English well without problems? English speakers don't care if their inflections & accents are wrong.
    There's an unsaid rule in Britain: It doesn't matter how other languages are spoken.
    Americans give it a better try, but it doesn't matter to us either. But one needs to remember that there are very fluent foreign language speakers in America.
    The movie was ONLY trying to portray someone (Willis) that was Familiar with Russian, as part of the plot, implying that he had a previous history of living, working in Russia, interacting with Russians. That was the only implication. It wasn't meant to impress Russian speakers that he could speak Russian. It was meant to imply that he had an extensive history of being a spy in Russia.

  6. Nobody watches a non English speaking movies so whatever they do is irrelevant.

    Willis speaking Russian didn't bother me like Courtney or Koch. Willis had one line that supposed to be funny (but wasn't). the other two had more substantial lines in Russians.

    I think they tried to impress the Russians Just like Iron man 3 tried to impress the Chinese. they acknowledge that there is a market for them there.

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