Director: John Moore
If there’s anything that typified the anticipation for “A Good Day to Die Hard” it was nostalgia. Film fans of a certain age left eager tweets fondly reminiscing about the original Die Hard, still one of the greatest action films of the 1980s. Would the fifth film in the franchise be any way close to equalling the magnificence of the first one? Or would it be a string of noisy explosions without much holding it together apart from Bruce Willis looking like he needs some aspirin?
If you like loud bangs and want to offer Willis some painkillers, then this is the film for you.
Cop John McClane (Willis. Bald. Doing it for the money) finds out that his son Jack (Jai Courtney. Young. Athletic. Cheaper than Tom Hardy) is about to stand trial in Russia. He heads there to find his offspring and soon is embroiled in a CIA plot with his son, Komarov a Russian scientist (Sebastian Koch. German doing a bad Russian accent) and lots of evil henchmen who will be blown up. Or shot. Or blown up and shot.
This is not a bad Hollywood action movie in terms of execution. All the chases, car crashes, gunshots and flying glass are done with precision and – if you like that sort of thing – will keep you glued to the screen as you shove popcorn in your mouth. But it all feels a bit ordinary and – despite all its efforts to try and bolt some ideas of relationships between fathers and sons and laments on growing old - never feels like a ‘proper’ “Die Hard” film. Willis could be easily replaced with someone else and you’d have pretty much the same film.
But the “Die Hard” franchise is strong and people will still flock to it. But there’ll be some sorely missing the tower block action of 1988. And if you’re not, you’d be strongly advised to get on DVD and quick….