STARRING: Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney, Sebastian Koch, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Yuliya Snigir, Rasha Bukvic, Cole Hauser, Amaury Nolasco
DIRECTED BY: John Moore
Die Hard is definitely one of those franchises that has deteriorated over time. The original is far and away the best (and honestly, a classic). The second film almost recreated the magic of the first, and really just ended up being a fun entry in the franchise. The third film? It was good, but not great. Some of the magic was gone, and people got tired of seeing John McClane being put in ridiculous circumstances.
The first film came out in 1988. The second film came out in 1990. The third came out in 1995. Inexplicably, twelve years passed, and the PG-13 Live Free or Die Hard was released, and it was definitely a mediocre entry in the franchise. Still, it made 383 million worldwide, to be the top grossing entry both domestically and worldwide. I suppose, we should have known a fifth entry would come… six years later, and 25 years after the original. To date, the film has made 304 worldwide, so I guess it shouldn’t come as a shock that I found a film on IMDB called “Die Hardest” slated for release in 2015. Bruce Willis will be playing John McClane longer than any one actor has portrayed James Bond.
As far as A Good Day To Die Hard goes, the basic plot of the film is that John McClane has to go to Russia because his son (Jai Courtney) is in trouble. Oh, you didn’t know he had a son? Well, he does, and he’s a spy trying to protect Komarov (Sebastian Koch), who has a very important flash drive. Let’s face it, you’ve seen this movie before. Russian scientist, important, everyone wants him. He’s got the knowledge, and our good guys are the only thing that can save the day.
The subplot of the film is that John’s son Jack hates him, and resents him for being a terrible father. Oh, I don’t know, he’s only stopped FOUR terrorist plots, and saved thousands of lives. You’d think Jack could be a little more respectful? It’s not like you have an abusive alcoholic father. Your father is John Freaking McClane. I’m sure all throughout school, kids would come up to him and be like “can your dad sign my hat?” “Your dad is such a badass.” “I have your dad’s rookie card in my superhero collection.” Such a tough childhood it must have been, to live in the shadow of a living legend. Could you imagine a real world circumstance where an average police officer saved the day in a big way FOUR times? It would be like if Batman was real, and he was a bald man that looked a lot like Bruce Willis.
Instead, his son is a know-it-all, angry, whiny, and completely lacking in the charisma that Bruce Willis had that carried the franchise for 25 years. I hope to God there’s never a Die Hard with just Jai Courtney, because that would be just as awful as an Indiana Jones movie with only Shia LaBeouf. I doubt there is much of a future for Jai as an A-Lister. He doesn’t even have the goofy charm that Channing Tatum carries around making him a star, even though no one thinks he’s a very good actor. He might as well be starring in WWE movies, because at least those actors would be on his level.
And because this film was directed by the same guy who made the flashy yet soulless Max Payne, Bruce Willis mostly plays second fiddle to Jai throughout the whole movie. It’s as if the people who made this movie refused to watch the original three films to understand that the only thing that makes the Die Hard franchise work, is Bruce Willis. Instead, he seems like the sidekick to a rather dull lead, a role beneath Willis’s talent. Willis has proven through films like Red and The Expendables that given the right material, he can still kick some ass. I don’t know why this film refused to let him do that.
If you take the John McClane aspect out of the film, this is a rather boring action film, with a plot you’ve seen a thousand times, and a supporting cast of people you’ll never care about. Largely, this film is a waste of time. I can’t think of a good day to ever watch this film.
FINAL GRADE: C-