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Good Day to Die Hard, A

Comparison:

  • Theatrical Version
  • Extended Cut
Release: Jun 21, 2013 - Author: Muck47 - Translator: Mr Miau - external link: IMDB
Comparison between the Theatrical Version and the Extended Cut, both taken from the British Blu-ray by 20th Century Fox.


48 alterations, consisting of
* 37 instances of exclusive footage in the Extended Cut, Length: 401,3 sec (= 6:41 min)
* 11 instances of exclusive footage in the Theatrical Version, Length 189,2 sec (= 3:09 min)
* 2 recuts
* 11 instances of alternative footage
* 6 audio alterations

- Running time difference: 212,1 sec (= 3:32 min)



The Movie


2007 was the year when Bruce Willis' return to the Die Hard franchise was speculated upon for the first time, 20 years after his first time playing John McClane and 12 years after part three of the series. The story about cyber criminals disabling the IT-infrastructure of the whole country was a seemingly modern approach and also receivedly the tame PG-13 rating, meaning that John's classic "Yippee-kay-aye, motherfucker" was a thing of the past. Many fans were estranged by this modernization, which also introduced Mary Elizabeth Winstead as John's daughter and Justin Long as a somewhat annoying sidekick, the rating and possible also by the multitudes of younger viewers, who then felt as if cheated out of their violence scenes. However, the final product was better than expected. Fast-paced action, still working one line jokes and John's encounter with modern technology offered a nice possibility to bridge the gap between the modern setting and the protagonist from the depths of the eighties. The comparison between the Theatrical Version and the Unrated Version of part number 4 can be found here: Live Free or Die Hard.

The movie grossed about 380 million dollars, three times its budget, which confirmed the producers' plans that it would not be last of the series. For the fifth movie, John Moore, who had been responsible for Max Payne before, sat in the director's chair and John's second child, a CIA agent, is playing a big role for the plot. The hunt for a whistleblower serves as a at least superficially current setting for the movie, which mostly takes in place in Moscow and Chernobyl, although it was shot to a large extent in Budapest. Probably also because movies like The Expendables had shown in the meantime that R-Rated action movies starring the old heroes can still be very successful, the movie was not cut and released to cinemas as an R-Rated movie.

Critics and the general audience, however, still felt that A Good Day to Die Hard was the worst part of the franchise. Many thought that the relatively short (100 min) movie was unable to achieve a real Die Hard-feeling, mostly because John takes second billing next to his son. Another common criticism were the rather one-dimensional characters, possibly due to the fact that many essential aspects of the plot were changed or created on the very day of their shooting.

Moore's continuation of the Die Hard franchise may have not been the best of its movies, yet it was still highly successful and brought in more than 300 million dollars. Everybody who was disappointed may therefore also see it this way: the film serves as more proof for the fact that R-Rated movies can still be successful and definitely made enough money for the producers to think about part six – for which they now have a lot of feedback to integrate and make it better.

The Movie Versions


A Good Day To Die Hard was, as already mentioned, released with an R-Rating, which meant that there was not the expectancy of an uncensored home cinema release as had been the case with its predecessor. However, probably due to the bad reviews the movie had gotten, shortly after the cinema release it was announced that John Moore was working on a Director's Cut including plot extensions and a 30 percent longer chase. This "Extended Harder Cut", however, is only available on the Blu-ray release.

The Extended Cut mostly differs from the Theatrical Version in two aspects:

On the one hand, Mary Elizabeth Winstead as John's daughter Lucy is missing completely. The scene at the beginning in which she drives him to the airport was completely removed and during the car chase the shots of John using a phone and were removed as well as any audio bits of their talk. The ending also offers an alternative solution and does not feature a family reunion. Whoever does not like Winstead or is not interested in the whole family business might welcome these changes. However, when John talks to Komarov in the 40th minute, he still at least mentions that he has a daughter.

Additionally, the chase through the streets of Moscow was extended significantly. In the end, 30 percent more was a bit exaggerated, but several small shots and one long one were added and lengthen the scene quite a lot. It has to be said though that these shots do not include anything really worth mentioning, nothing too spectacular is happening.

Then there are also several insignificant extensions that mostly are restricted to something like "person X walks around a bit longer". These shots probably were not included in the original version for a reason and, especially considering the term "Extended Harder Cut", seem quite like a mockery. There is only one alteration during a violent shot at the very beginning, which, according to the audio commentary, also had nothing to do with censorship, a headshot simply seemed more apt. The only other thing worth mentioning may be the additional chat between John and Jack during the car drive to Chernobyl, which deepens their relationship a bit.
As already mentioned, there are also a few audio alterations, which mostly serve to remove Mary Elizabeth Winstead's involvement with the movie. Especially during the scene at the beginning, when suddenly John's colleague Murphy is supposed to be the one who drove John to the airport, this does not always go smoothly.

All in all, the Extended Cut is a bit of a disappointment. More action during the chase is not bad, but it can be said that the Theatrical Version does not lack anything special. And whether you like Winstead or not, removing her completely from the movie is a questionable decision. The other additions here and there are really not worth mentioning and cannot breathe new life into the movie either.



Running time designations are formatted like this:
Theatrical Version / Extended Cut
Alternative Footage
04:53 / 04:53

In the Extended Cut, Anton is being hit in the head instead of the breast (same shot, different CGI effect).

No difference in running time

Theatrical VersionExtended Cut




Alternative Footage / Additional Footage in the Theatrical Version
06:55-06:56 / 06:55-07:27

Murphy leaves in a very similar but still alternative shot – the EC is a lot longer. Only the EC shows John afterwards emptying a whole magazine into a practice target, saying "God damn you! God damn it!". The first shot at the airport starts earlier as well.

Extended Cut 31 sec longer

Theatrical VersionExtended Cut




Additional Footage in the Theatrical Version / Alternative Footage
07:00-08:01 / 07:31-07:34

In the Theatrical Version, the shot of the airport is longer and a chat between John and Lucy starts from the off, which the EC lacks completely.

Lucy: "Dad, I wish you would let me go with you."
John: "You would never be able to resist the urge to tell me what to do all the time."
Lucy, hesitating: "This isn't your fault. You know?"
John: "I just... hoped that he'd figured his life out."
Lucy: "I got you something."
John reads the title of the book she gave him: "Idiot's Travel Guide. Perfect. Thank you, baby."
Lucy: "I love you."
John: "I love you, too. See you soon."
Lucy: "Dad? Just try, try not to make an even bigger mess of things. Good luck."
John: "I love you. See you soon."


The following frontal shot starts a bit earlier in the Extended Cut and before McClane gets out, he says to the (not visible) driver: "Thanks, kid."


Theatrical Version 58 sec longer


Also, only the EC contains Murphy's voice from the off, saying, "McClane, good luck. See you soon," which obviously is supposed to suggest that he drove him to the airport.



08:52 / 08:25-08:38

Jack can be seen for a first time, the employee of the ministry of defense comes to him.

12,9 sec




09:03 / 08:49-08:50

The man can be seen looking at Jack a bit longer.

1,5 sec




Partial Recut
12:53 / 12:40-12:47

First shots of John in the streets of Moscow, then Chagarin can be seen – this shot was preponed. The audio parts from the TV reports were moved with the identical following shots as well.

6,6 sec



A part of the commentaries are also different.

Theatrical Version: "...face charges publically for the first time. Security is tight, as there have been several attempts on Komarov's life since he's been in prison."

Extended: "The unrest comes as authorities have been accused of fraud throughout the country's elections. Some pictures out of Russia right now. Protests happening there. This is a look at the demonstration."


Additional Footage in the Theatrical Version
12:56-13:03 / 12:50

Only the Theatrical shows the reporter onscreen, the shot of Chagarin walking follows.

+ 7,6 sec




20:12 / 19:59-20:08

Several shots of the chase – some café furniture gets broken.

9,2 sec




20:26 / 20:22-21:18

A rather long additional part of the car chase. Jack dodges several car, which eventually leads to his pursuers crashing into several cars, causing them to stop. John can be seen another time before they can start driving again.

55,5 sec




22:37 / 23:28-23:31

Two short and rather irrelevant additional shots during the car chase.

2,9 sec




Alternative Footage
23:17 / 24:11-24:15

Ditto.
The Theatrical offers a few more frames in the following shot, however, they are not relevant and not shown here.

Extended 3,7 sec longer




Alternative Footage
23:27-23:28 / 24:25-24:28

The Theatrical stays a tiny bit longer with the previous shot (no pictures), the Extended shows two additional short shots.

Extended 2,2 sec longer




23:34 / 24:34-24:37

Another additional shot.

3,2 sec




23:36 / 24:39-24:45

Again more cars driving by. The removed aerial shot also starts a bit earlier.

5,6 sec




Alternative Footage / Additional Footage in the Theatrical Version
23:37-23:41 / 24:46-24:58

The Extended is longer (at the beginning, there is another part of the same shot, a few frames can be seen in both versions) and offers more destruction.

Extended 8,6 sec longer

Theatrical VersionExtended Cut




Alternative Footage
23:52-23:53 / 25:10-25:13

John rams the pursuers' transporter in different and more explicit shots. The following shot starts a bit earlier in the Theatrical (no pictures).

Extended 2,5 sec longer




23:54 / 25:14-25:25

More shots in the tunnel and outside.

11,2 sec




When John jumps with his car over the roofs of several other vehicles, he receives a call from Lucy. This was completely removed from the Ectended Cut's audio track, only his "Oh, for the love of..." can still be heard.

John: "Hi, honey."
Lucy: "Dad? Can you hear me? How is Moscow?"
John: "Can I call you back?"



Additional Footage in the Theatrical Version
26:35-26:36 / 28:06

The beginning of a shot of John was removed in the EC because he says a last word to Lucy, hangs up and puts the cell phone away.

+ 1 sec




Alternative Footage
26:40-26:42 / 28:10-28:12

Before John drives over another roof and says sorry to its owner, an alternative shot of the chaos around can be seen.

no difference in running time

Theatrical VersionExtended Cut




Recut
26:44 / 28:14-28:15

Now, the EC shows the previous shot as well.

1,2 sec




26:49 / 28:20-28:25

A car behind John drives over his car and flips over.

4,6 sec




27:06 / 28:42-28:45

Insignificant additional shots.

3,1 sec




Lucy calls again at a later moment in the cahse. Before the cut for this occasion, her first sentence from the off, "Dad, can you hear me," was removed from the audio track. During the following cut and afterwards, "Are you still there? Dad," can be heard.


Additional Footage in the Theatrical Version
27:39-27:40 / 29:18

Only the Theatrical shows the cell phone here.

+ 1,5 sec




Additional Footage in the Theatrical Version
27:54-27:55 / 29:31

John holds the phone to his ear again and asks: "You still there?"

+ 1,5 sec



The chat continues for the most part while car chase shots can be seen. Additional cuts will be mentioned afterwards, but this is the complete chat they are having at this point.

Lucy: "Yeah, I'm here. So, how is Jack? Have you seen him?"
John: "Uh, yep, looking right at him."
Lucy: "Is he okay?"
John: "I haven't really caught up with him yet, but he looks good. I'm gonna have to call you back."
Lucy: "What's going on there?"
John: "Luce, can I call you right back?"
Lucy: "Don't hang up..."


Alternative Footage / Additional Footage in the Theatrical Version
28:00-28:02 / 29:36-29:40

Instead of showing John with the cell phone, the EC shows a longer shot of John looking angrily.

Extended 1,6 sec longer

Theatrical VersionExtended Cut




Additional Footage in the Theatrical Version
28:10-28:14 / 29:48

The car a few frames longer, then John ends the call in two shots.

+ 3,6 sec




38:22 / 39:56-40:17

A first tracking shot over the streets, a bit aside Jack, John and Komarov can be seen. Jack sees the security measures at the entrance and says: "Shit. Well, we're not going in the front door."

20,4 sec




46:57 / 48:52-48:54

Irina gives Komarov a kiss after affirming that she is his daughter twice.

2,2 sec




47:31 / 49:28-49:41

Alik walks around John and Jack a little longer.

13,5 sec




51:55 / 54:05-54:19

The shot of Alik's helicopter is quite a bit longer, then there is another shot of him. There is an order in Russian to eliminate the Americans and he answers "I'm taking care of it now".

13,5 sec




53:06 / 55:30-55:32

Additional shot of the helicopter before Jack turns around.

1,9 sec




59:55 / 62:20-62:30

Another car trunk is opened, but John and Jack are not satisfied with the small caliber weapons they find there. In another trunk, they find a body and the door is being closed again as well.

9,9 sec




Directly before the following cut, only the Theatrical contains John's question (from the off) "Are we really going to Chernobyl?"

60:22 / 62:57-64:05


John and Jack talk about some family memories in the car and here John also mentions Chernobyl.

John: "You sleeping?"
John: "I was. Jetlag."
Jack: "Jeez, when was the last time we were in a car together?"
John: "Drive home from Trenton. I had to bail you out for that weapons charge."
Jack: "Yeah? No, it was the fire thing, right?"
John: "When you set South Philly on fire, you mean? We had to take out a second mortgage on the house to make your bail."
Jack: "Yeah, I'm sorry about that. It was funny."
John: "We are going to Chernobyl."

67,9 sec




62:36 / 66:19-66:36

The tracking shot starts earlier and passes an old plane at the beginning.

17 sec




63:33 / 67:33-67:40

Additional shot of two persons in Hazmat suits checking out the interior.

6,4 sec




67:24 / 71:31-71:38

Johna and Jack walk around longer.

7 sec




68:36 / 72:50-73:00

Ditto.

9,7 sec




Alternative Footage / Additional Footage in the Theatrical Version
69:30-69:40 / 73:54-74:05

The shot when John and Jack walk through the room with the dirty water is different.

Only the Theatrical features this short dialogue here.
Jack: "What's this remind you of?"
John: "Newark."

Extended 1,2 sec longer

Theatrical VersionExtended Cut




70:13 / 74:38-74:51

John and Jack are walking around in additional shots before arriving at the stairs. The following shot starts a bit earlier as well.

13,4 sec




81:18 / 85:56-85:58

Additional shots of the fire spreading.

2,2 sec




Additional Footage in the Theatrical Version / Alternative Footage
90:22-91:58 / 95:02-95:26

The Theatrical Version fades to the shot of a miniature airplane. Lucy and a few security officers are waiting at the small airport and John and Jack descend from their plane. The family then walks across the airport together and heroic music can be heard.


The Extended Cut shows the previous shot for a longer time and then fades to black with the same musical background.


Theatrical Version 72,1 sec longer




After the ending credits, the Extended Cut displays an additional text.

4,2 sec

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