Bruce Willis reprises his famous role of John McClane in the fifth installment of the “Die Hard” franchise. Unfortunately, this is easily the worst “Die Hard” movie ever, and if there were any justice at the megaplex, it would be the nail in the franchise’s coffin.
In “A Good Die to Die Hard”, John McClane travels to Russia for some ill-defined reason, shoots a bunch of nondescript henchmen, and foils a generic “threat to the world” level plot. The action is unmemorable, and the character of John McClane seems worn out.
Even the “Die Hard” die hards will be disappointed by this “Die Hard”.
John McClane (Bruce Willis) tries to reconnect with his estranged son (Jai Courtney), but learns that he’s been imprisoned in Russia. Intent on somehow assisting him, he boards a plane and heads to Moscow. Having learned where his son will be on trial, he heads to the courthouse as soon as he lands.
There, he just happens to wind up in the midst of an insurgent attack on the courthouse, intended to eliminate a high level dissident who’s also on trial, Yuri Komarov (Sebastian Koch). In the midst of all the explosions and machine gun fire, McClane sees his son escorting Komarov into a truck and escaping the scene. It turns out that his son is actually a CIA agent, embedded at the trial in order to attempt to protect Komarov. McClane takes off after them, and is soon up to his neck in the action.
Disappointingly though, the action here is bland. For an installment in a movie series known for its action sequences, the action scene offerings here are relatively generic. In fact, aside from the opening set piece where McClane and son race through the streets of Moscow, attempting to evade pursuers in an armored transport, none of the scenes are really notable in any way. McClane and son shoot a bunch of disposable henchmen, duck just below an endless hail of machine gun fire, and jump through and/or out of a string of windows. There were actually a couple of scenes I was actively rooting for to be over.
Compounding this basic deficiency is the fact that the overall plot is flat-out lame. There’s barely any setup for McClane to be going to Russia, and once he’s there he’s immediately surrounded by gun fire and things exploding. The central conflict is between two Russians who I could barely be bothered to care about. It was good then I suppose that there was no real need to care about any of it anyways. It all kind of came across as blah, blah, blah, Russian, blah, blah, blah, secret file, blah, blah, blah, Uranium. Not that they were verbose in conveying plot details and I tuned out (quite the opposite, it was minimal). It’s just that the few details they gave were so uninspired that they sounded like “blah” to me.
Worst of all though, the character of John McClane seems tired. Not that he wasn’t always a bit haggard and exhausted anyways, it just seemed as if there was nothing left in the tank, here. Watching his banter with his son was amusing and mildly rewarding as a fan of the character, but outside of that there was literally no snide humor, no gusto… this was Bruce Willis on auto pilot, shooting machine guns and spouting exclamations like “Jesus!” when something extra dangerous happens.
This was a lifeless experience for me, sadly, and it was upsetting to see it happen to the “Die Hard” franchise. I’m sure, the way cheap sequels get made nowadays, that this might not be the last one ever. But I hope it is. Either that, or I hope they come back with a much better movie.