It has come to my attention that hardcore Die
Hard fans really, really disliked the previous 'Die Hard'
film, 'Live Free and Die Hard'. Gotta admit, I didn't
even know there was such a thing as hardcore Die Hard fans…
people who cherish a franchise in the same way certain
individuals cherish Star wars, The Dark Knight or Lord of the
Rings. But lo and behold, the Die Hard faithful are out
there as well. That movie, which I personally enjoyed,
apparently was watered down by a PG-13 rating, a silly
sidekick, the inclusion of a daughter, a lame villain and
McClane surfing a harrier jet. Now I'm not here to argue
with the Die Hard faithful about their franchise, not the kid,
but after watching the fifth… and hopefully final… Die Hard,
'A Good Day to Die Hard', surely this movie had to have raised
the appreciation for Die Hard 4.0 just a little bit. A
John McClane has a son. John McClane Jr. (Jai Courtney),
or Jack McClane as he is known to family and friends.
These children of John McClane just seem to appear out of
nowhere. Don't be surprised in Die Hard VI if teenage
twins popup from somewhere. Anyway, for some reason Jack
walked into a club in Moscow and just blew some guy away, and
now he's with the authorities. McClane has gotten word
of his wayward son's indefensible actions and books the first
flight to Moscow. To do what? I don't know.
Just for disclosures sake, I saw the Harder, Uncut Blu-Ray
version which apparently cuts out the scene of his daughter
played by Mary Elizabeth Wansted driving her dad to the
airport. Don't know why they would cut that out unless
Mary Elizabeth rebuked the director's advances and this is how
he paid her back.
As John has landed in Moscow and makes
his way to the courtroom, his son is already there in a
holding pen next to international Russian criminal Kamarov
(Sebastian Koch), allegedly because he's there to testify
against him. Unfortunately, a group of armed
gunmen blow some stuff up, the plan being to
kill Kamarov, I guess, but Jack is quick on the job and
rescues Kamarov from certain death. Turns out Jack is a
CIA operative with his job being to secure the package, that
being Kamarov, for delivery to his superiors at Langley.
Now as this movie plays out, and once everything is revealed,
this whole sequence makes absolutely no sense
whatsoever. But chances are you will stop caring halfway
through this film and it won't matter all that much.
Anyway, John sees his son breaking out of prison with this guy
and he needs to know what his son is up to. John totally
screws up his sons op. Then the longest car chase scene
since the end of the Blues Brothers will now commence.
So it looks like I lost Mary Elizabeth during this Harder
version but I got more car chase. Yay.
Once everything is settled down, John gets the information on
what his child has been doing these last few years, and I
gotta admit that Dad wasn't as relieved as I would think he
would be. In fact he seemed downright pissed. Like
he was more at ease that his son was on trial for murder as
opposed to being a spy. Whatever. Father and son
then exchange some terse words, everything goes straight to
hell yet again, father, son and Russian Dude are on the run,
until it goes even more to hell, with the father telling his
son that they still have a chance to save the
mission. A mission that will take them to
radioactive infected Chernobyl. And all is not what it
seems. And it will all go straight to hell. Again.
The original 'Die Hard' is arguably the greatest action movie
ever made, or at the very least in almost every action movie
fans top ten list. 'Die Hard' had a lot of things going
for it, the location, the everyday joe as its hero, but what
truly set it apart was Hans Gruber. Great Villain.
The leads us to one of the problems with this particular 'Die
Hard' movie, which does have some fairly out of this world
action sequences to witness, but there's no real
villain. We have a guy who seems to be a villain, but
he's not much of one. Then we learn he's not the villain
at all, just a minion. By this time the movie is pretty
much over. No real villain. That's a problem in
any movie, but truly an issue in a Die Hard movie which is
almost always about the nefarious plans of the singularly evil
Since there's no real villain, we're now kind of relying on
this slapdash of a narrative to carry us through, a tale which
even under the best of circumstances makes absolutely no
sense. But I'm thinking what the filmmakers saw as the
'best of circumstances' was for the action to carry this
movie, along with the relationship between John and Jack
McClane. Now I actually liked most of the action.
True enough, it was unrealistic and unfathomable even for a
Die Hard movie… surfing Harrier Jets seemed more lucid by
comparison… but we're not a stickler for these kinds of things
over in these parts. Less successful, however, was Jai
Courtney and Bruce Willis 'relating' to one another.
Since dialog wasn't a strong part of this film, and since
young Mr. Courtney isn't a good enough actor as of yet to
overcome bad dialog, he was put in a bad spot. Made
worse by the fact that this was more of a Jai Courtney movie
than a Bruce Willis movie. And the catch phrase 'I'm on
Vacation!' did have us longing for 'Yippe Kai Yai' a little
bit. And we're not fond of that one either no matter how
classic it may be.
I don't think this movie is quite as horrible as it's being
painted, as it's just a basic, mediocre action flick with bad
dialog and suspect acting. Like most action
movies. The crime this one commits is that it carries
the mantle of one of the best action movies ever made.
And for this, 'A Good Day to Die Hard' is guilty as charged.