June 10, 2013

Compare Versions: A Good Day to Die Hard Theatrical vs. Extended Cut

This is not going to be all that long of an article because simply there isn’t very much that is different except that for some bizarre reason they removed Mary-Elizabeth Winstead from the movie completely in the Extended Cut. Her scenes at the beginning and the end of the Theatrical version were so much better than the Extended Cut.

In this alternate version, the movie ends with John and Jack walking out of Chernobyl and then it fades to black, whereas in the Theatrical Cut you have a nice family reunion and it feels a bit more final and it almost creates even the slightest bit of emotional resonance.

The opening scene at the gun range seems to be a bit longer as I don’t remember McClane firing several shots at the end and almost screaming. Yes, gone is the cool McClane and any sense of fun whatsoever and there actually isn’t anything to recommend about the Extended Cut, let alone the Theatrical Cut.

I will admit that the car chase is cool but so much of the rest of the action looks like CGI and utterly unrealistic, nevermind all the godforsaken shaky cam. Upon watching the movie again, A Good Day is easily the worst of the franchise and Skip Woods/John Moore should never be allowed anywhere near it again.

These are two guys have have ZERO idea about what makes a Die Hard movie work. McClane is meant to have charm, be vulnerable but yet do what he has to do because no one else will. Now he is pretty much a sociopath who will happily run people over during an overlong (but mildly impressive) car chase.

I remember when Moore said months ago how there wouldn’t be any of the humour in the movie, in fact here is exactly what he said: “I don’t know whether it’s post-financial crash or whatever, but I don’t think people are in the mood for that bollocks anymore. People are well savvy to the cynical reheating of any product, any franchise. Any shit won’t do. The bar’s a bit higher.”

The fact that he said this means he should not be allowed near any movie again ever, he’s a terrible director and Part 5 was a complete mess of a film. The script was laughably bad and there was nothing “savvy” about his work. I try to be positive on this site and never bad mouth anyone but this arrogant ass deserves it. For me, he essentially killed the movie and it feels like an incomplete, incoherent mess.

I don’t think Willis is without blame either as he has a lot of say as to what happens in these films but he was only there for the paycheck.

Do you remember in the first Die Hard when John McClane is sitting on the bathroom counter on the radio to Al? He’s bleeding all over the place and you really wonder if he will get out of there alive. He tells Al how he basically screwed up with Holly and is in tears at how he is facing imminent death and may never see her again. It is such a moving scene because you care about him and you want him to succeed over these overwhelming (but not unrealistic) odds. There is NOTHING like that in this movie.

So which version do I recommend? How about Die Hard With a Vengeance and leave this piece of crap on the DVD store shelf where it belongs.

About the Author

Eoin Friel
Eoin Friel
I grew up watching JCVD, Sly and Arnold destroy bad guys, blow things up and spew one-liners like it's a fashion statement. Action is everything I go to the movies for and the reason I came up with this site is to share my love for the genre with everyone.



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