You can't keep a good cop down as McClane gears up for his fifth adventure. As he prepares to fly to Moscow to discover why his estranged son Jack has been arrested for murder, John McClane is handed an Idiot's Travel Guide To Russia by daughter Lucy (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). Someone behind the scenes should have followed suit and given director John Moore an Idiot's Guide to Die Hard movies, for this fifth outing for Bruce Willis's fly in the ointment detective is a Die Hard in nonsensical name only. The reason why 1988's classic original is so iconic, beloved and imitated is down to its economical, no nonsense simplicity. (One cop,one building, 12 terrorists. It's hardly rocket science, is it?) and from that the greatest action movie ever made. But with each successive installment, the franchise has travelled further away from its origins, a flaw magnified tenfold here by taking McClane off home turf completely. Writer Skip Woods makes one concession to the original by squeezing the action into one single, manic day.To do so, unfortunately, he must throw logic under a bus, most egregiously by suggesting that the 400 mile distance between Moscow and Chernobyl can be driven in a couple of hours. In truth, if A Good Day To Die Hard is homaging anything it's the Bourne series, a frantic car pursuit through Muscovite traffic entailing more noisy auto vehicular destruction than Identity, Supremacy and Ultimatum. It's a spectacular set piece to be sure, but over long and later rivalled later by a shoot out in a hotel ballroom and a climactic face off involving a miraculously deradiated Chernobyl and an exploding chopper fireball. It's what Moore inserts between them that drags the story down, the charmless interplay between a semi comatose Willis and Jai Courtney's petulant, arrogant Jack not the mess up he initially appears, but a CIA operative on the trail of AWOL weapons grade uranium squandering the familial dynamic that should have been the movies trump card. Die Hard 5 is no less wanting in the villain department, Rasha Bukvic's tap dancing, carrot chomping Alik being to Alan Rickman's Hans Gruber what a Lada is to a Mercedes. Good Day in a nutshell? Father son bonding with heavy artillery, a lot of big bangs, a triple figure body count and little else. Listen carefully over the opening credits and you'll hear a few bars of Beethoven's Ode To Jo, the Die Hard series unofficial theme tune. But it's no more than a flickering shadow of former glories, barely there and soon forgotten.
"That was exciting!" says Willis after he and Courtney survive a 20 storey leap through a plate glass window. "Want to go again?" Frankly, Bruce, i'm fine to leave it here. For the fans of the original trilogy Die Hard 4.0 was a watered down disappointment, but this is another dramatic step backwards, In a series that has some brilliant and memorable villians perhaps Die hard has now found the ultimate villian in the shape of Director John Moore. To be fair is not a total write off, it's not a disaster of Speed 2 proportions, but the thing that made McClane such a good hero is that he was a normal guy in a bad situation and you cared for him. Now in this fifth installment McClane is more like a superhero and apparently invincible. If there is a sixth and hopefully final Die hard the series has to get back to basics and give the fans the Die Hard that they know."Yipee-Ki-Nay!"
Like the cinema cut of Die Hard 4.0 and Taken 2, Fox want to get as many they can into the cinema so this version gets the tamed down cert 12, hopefully we'll see a harder cut when released on DVD/Bluray
See if you like......
The Expendables 1 and 2.
Die Hard 4.0