If you are expecting an innovative and nostalgic return to the Die Hard franchise, the same way that the Bond franchise was reborn, then think again. This movie could’ve had any actor play the lead roll and it would’ve still stunk. Throwing the “Die Hard” name in it just serves as a cash grab, which I guess worked, but kind of blows. It wasn’t what I wanted, nor expected.
If you’re like me then you held on to hope for the new Die Hard movie, considering that the last installment wasn’t half bad. Sure Justin Long was wearing on our nerves by the end of the movie, but it still had some decent action scenes and Bruce Willis’ character of “John McClane” at least seemed interested in what was going on in Live Free or Die Hard (DH4). I think it had been such a long time since Die Hard With a Vengeance(DH3) was in theaters that maybe I gave it more credit than it was due. Maybe I should go back and watch it again to see if I still feel the same way?
A Good Day to Die Hard is full of plot holes. It’s actually one huge plot hole and asks the viewer to abandon a lot to go along for the ride, and giving very little inreturn. What it does return is recycled action scenes that are visually appealing at most, but unimaginative and absurd. Sure, we expect the Die Hard movies to borderline absurdity, but I also expect them to be original and creative in their action sequences, making me drop my jaw in astonishment, grab the armrest of my seat, and cringe in excited anticipation of how “McClane” will escape and survive the mess he’s found himself in. With A Good Day to Die Hard, we are instead given a story that seems to pull shit straight out of thin air.
Synopsis: John McClane (Bruce Willis) and his estranged son Jack (Jai Courtney) team up to protect a government informant in Moscow, and thwart a major crime in Chernobyl in this sequel from director John Moore (Max Payne, Behind Enemy Lines). Russian politics are in tatters when veteran detective McClane shows up in the nation’s capital, and learns that his son is working undercover to protect Komarov (Sebastian Koch) — a notorious whistleblower who some powerful people would like to see silenced. Protecting Komarov won’t be easy, even for the cop who’s single-handedly defeated small armies of terrorists, and the sharp-shooting son he’s never known. Meanwhile, when the fearless father and son catch wind of a deadly plot unfolding in Chernobyl, they face the fight of their lives in one of the most hostile landscapes known to man. Cole Hauser and Mary Elizabeth Winstead co-star.
My first question is, REALLY? I mean, with all of the German terrorists that McClane has faced in the past, the screenwriters for DH5 chose Russia? Was having the McClane’s running around Chernobyl just too tempting to NOT set it in Germany or Austria, which would’ve easily put them in the path of previous terrorist families that John McClane has encountered? Mind you, the Chernobyl scenes in this movie were not all that greatanyway. It’s one thing to suspend reality for a movie, but when most of the characters are running around a nuclear disaster area without any protection on shooting each other, that’s REALLY stretching it. DH5 lacks imagination and abandons it’s roots of the original (and even subsequent following sequel) and serves up a bunch of flashy action scenes which would normally suffice me, except in the context of a Die Hard film, do not live up to the films own standards of action.
20th Century Fox really had an opportunity to turn the Die Hard franchise into something really cool by revisiting it’s past. The one thing that has made the original stand out is that it was unique and ORIGINAL! At the time, we had never really seen an action film where the main Character was unknown to the antagonist for the first act of the film. If you remember, McClane was hiding throughout most of the film. What made it exciting was that he was trying not to get caught, AND he was barefoot, AND it was at Christmas! Am I the only one who considers Die Hard a Christmas Movie? In my mind, it’s best viewed during the holidays, but maybe that’s just me. The original Die Hard also had nobility in McClane that the sequels lacked over time. McClane was saving his wife, and sure they didn’t get along so great, but that made him that much more likable. What happened to our McClane? Well, according to DH5, he got old and grumpy and nostalgic, which is weak and lame. Sure, it gives humanity to the main character, but not how a fan wants to see it. I don’t even mind the father/son dynamic in DH5, but it’s a little to convenient to have “Jack” be a CIA agent. That was the easy way to get to the action. It would have been much more fun to see the action build than to have it handed to us on a silver platter.
I miss the old Die Hard, I missed Bonnie Bedelia, and I miss a bare foot McClane! Would it have been so hard to bring the McClane’s back to the U.S. For the third act of the film? Couldn’t we have written in a scene where his son encounters some of the same obstacles McClane first did in the original Die Hard? I would have loved to see Bruce back in the tower in Century City with his son for some reason, coming full circle and then finally reuniting with his wife, if only just to say hello. Maybe I’m just wishful thinking here, but that was what I was hoping for when I walked into the theater this weekend, and what I got was the opposite. How very disappointing, for me. Maybe other people liked this more than I did, but I doubt it. I will say, there is still hope. I am willing to give this franchise one more shot, but that’s it! In my mind, I assume there will be a Die Hard 6, possibly “Die Hard Down Under”, DH5: “Die Hardest”, or “Die Hard Forever!” and I hope that they do the series justice and bring it back to it’s roots, to the original Die Hard that we all fell in love with, and not this knock off action crap I just got force fed. I have hope yet, and we’ll just have to wait and see what is delivered.