The day of love, being celebrated across the globe is a unique one as this Valentine's day marks a handful of movies hitting theatres this day. "A Good Day to Die Hard" is a bold bit of counterprogramming for those looking for something a little different on a day that focuses on love. Sadly, in this fifth installment, John McClane doesn't give action fans around the globe all the much to love.
Starring Bruce Willis
Directed by John Moore
In "A Good Day to Die Hard", John McClane (Willis) travels to Russia to help out is estranged and wayward son Jack (Jai Courtney). However Jack isn't in as much trouble as John initially thought as his son is actually CIA, working to prevent various nefarious underworld forces to get their hands on weapon's grade plutonium. So after a snag in the mission plan, father and son team up to stop the bad guys and save the day.
This fifth installment in this action franchise is about as thin as the hair on its star's head, that is to say despite the occasional solid action sequence we are treated to a horribly underwritten story with only a handful of set action pieces. John Moore effectively stages the action but quite a bit of it feels poorly edited and borderline ridiculous. Any storyline set up or exposition was seemingly cut in order to thin down the run time as the first act of the film took only about ten minutes and we barely had any legitimate motivation to believe in what any of these characters were doing. The further the story goes into some absurdist mediation on the last remnants of the Cold War, the narrative just stops giving a damn as some of the references and jokes seem more than a little dated. Quality explosions are all well and good, but without any characters we can get behind it just doesn't work all that well.
Bruce Willis was seemingly just going through the motions in this one, and it's not really his fault as it felt like the script by Skip Woods seemingly had no back knowledge of the John McClane character and it was just a generic action screenplay where they simply changed the lead character's name. Jai Courtney was decent enough as his son Jack and on screen together and both could feasible carry an action movie together, while Mary Elizabeth Winstead returns in a cameo as his daughter. Unfortunately, the effectiveness of every Die Hard movie in the past has always rested on the effective over the top bombast of the villain, and this film our two primary villains were just really, really dull and forgettable, throwing the formula for an effective Die Hard movie straight out the window.
When all is said and done, "A Good Day to Die Hard" has a couple of decent action sequences but never at anytime did we feel like it was anything more than a dull cookie cutter action flick that cared more about the explosions per minute rather than crafting another chapter for one of action cinema's more enduring iconic characters.
1 out of 5 stars.
"A Good Day to Die Hard" is now playing at theatres all across the country; check with your local listings for show times.