"A Good Day to Die Hard" (which blasted its way into theaters on Feb. 14, presumably as an alternative to the obvious Valentine's Day date flicks) finds John McClane fighting baddies and leaving a wake of destruction in his path. Again. This time around McClane heads to Russia to chase after his son, who has inherited his father's for knack for landing in trouble. The duo soon find themselves pulled into a conflict of international proportions. Needless to say the stakes are high, the production value is not.
The plot, while quite transparent once things get rolling is clumsily introduced, and though they give character development the old college try, it is left wanting. All of that could have been forgiven, after all, this is an unadulterated action movie, not high-brow awards fare, but for the off-kilter effort from the man himself, Bruce Willis. Willis is still in fine form to play McClane and he still looks cool jumping through windows and has that certain action star je ne sais quoi as he pilots an SUV off of a moving tow truck and over the top of highway traffic, but there are moments when he seems decidedly bored of it all.
Whether that stems from indecision as to whether or not to go down the "I'm getting to old for this s***" path or from a general weariness that stems from five go rounds as McClane is hard to say. Whatever the case, the fact that our hero falls flat in many ways takes the joy that can be found in the frivolity of great action flicks right out of the equation.
When the over-the-top chase sequences and explosions are removed, nothing is left but a worn out plot line of estranged father-son bonding and and frequent exasperated exclamations from McClane that he is "on vacation!"
By the time the famed tag-line is delivered, it is done with such an absence of enthusiasm that the sense is that Willis too is just waiting for the credits to roll.