Most franchise’s die out after a sequel. Very few movies have made it to a fifth outing. Police Academy instantly springs to mind, as does Star Wars and The Fast & Furious. Now Bruce Willis and Die Hard return for a fifth dosage of explosions, set pieces and plenty of one liners in A Good Day To Die Hard.
This time round John McClane ends up on vacation (you’ll get used to hearing that word, trust me) in Moscow, or a rescue mission of sorts. His son works for the CIA and finds himself in a bit of a pickle. He ends up testifying against your stereotypical bad guy terrorist. When a botched escape attempt goes wrong, McClane Jr. ends up with said bad guy in his custody (of sorts) and he (along with Daddy McClane) must out run the other bad guys and bring him to justice or something. By the end you’ll have forgotten the plot entirely which just drifts off into something which is just a big, fat excuse for some over the top set pieces.
And what set pieces we have. This is possibly the most action packed movie in the Die Hard franchise. The stunts and set pieces are truly spectacular and will have you’re jaw careering off the floor on more than one occasion. And while things sag in the middle with the inevitable dysfunctional family making up for lost time with a few wooden pieces of dialogue, it’s finale is rather brilliant, with a fantastic flipping of the bird from Daddy McClane.
John Moore can certainly direct an action movie, but where A Good Day To Die Hard falls down though, is in the middle. The dialogue is poorly written and is delivered with about as much gusto as a wet fart in a swimming pool. The first half is action heavy with the finale really being the next sequence of where things go boom. In that sense, it feels a little unbalanced.
At this point in his career, Bruce Willis is doing what he has done for years, and that’s being Bruce Willis. But his dialogue delivery here is at times, absolutely brutal. And I can appreciate that it’s tongue is firmly planted in its cheek, but I would never have placed John McClane as the cheesy type. In all fairness, this movie must hold some amount of record for the usage of the word “vacation”.That aside, Jai Courtney has a solid presence on screen but he’s not exactly that likeable. Granted his physical prowess will have the ladies and the gay audience drooling into their popcorn. But when it comes to the father and son dynamic, the chemistry between father and son seems a little bit too contrived and false.
My major gripe though is with the certification, at least on this side of the pond. It’s a 15A in Ireland and 12A in the UK. The cuts are incredibly obvious. But I’d suffer that. With so many F bombs dropped throughout, I can’t for the life of me figure out why Bruce Willis’ most famous catchphrase is cut short. And to that I say, For Fuck Sake! Granted our American readers can relish in the fact that Stateside, A Good Day To Die Hard has a R rating.
It’s easy to forgive all it’s little faults, A Good Day To Die Hard delivers nearly exactly what it said it would. Shit blows up in spectacular fashion, quite alot of the time. Regardless of some of the negative press, and I agree that now is A Good Day To Call It Quits, this is a no brainer popcorn movie which delivers a decent night out in the cinema!