A Good Day To Die Hard: Out Now In Cinema’s

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The Trailer.



The Hughes Verdict
John McClane has been left behind in recent years to the new kids on the block. Bourne, Bauer, even the all new Bond have stolen the limelight from the man who was once the golden guy of the action stakes! The 1988 original Die Hard film is rightly called “one of thee best action movies of all time!”, a rollercoaster of a film, where each level of the Nakatomi Plaza building bought more danger to the shoeless man in the white shirt, who was in the wrong time at the wrong place!Even now, 25 years on from when its was first released, Die Hard is still a wonderful piece of cinema history. It is the Halloween of action films, where its blueprint was copied by many other films, but each one failed to capture the magic and essence of what made McClane such an icon for fans everywhere.

Even the sequels didn’t match what the original offered, even though you can say that they were mostly entertaining. Die Hard 2 was just a rehash of what went on before but still done its job. Vengeance tried something different and sort of worked thanks to the cast, while the recent Live Free or Die Hard was a love letter to itself, which was only saved thanks to the directors cut on DVD that restored the violence and swearing, which made the film actually feel like a Die Hard movie.

The reason why I am bringing up the past before I mention A Good Day To Die Hard is that fans going into to see this fifth instalment really need to be prepared. If you like me and totally love the franchise then you need to be warned before you sit down, because even when the credits start, your hands might shake, a feeling of excitement may come all over you, thoughts of McClane back in that white vest, throwing wisecracks and defying the odds engulf you. “YES ITS DIE HARD AND ITS BACK!” you may scream and shout, but soon, very soon in fact into the film, you may find that what you actually watching is not a Die Hard film at all!

The once simple premise of one man against a bunch of thieves disguised as Terrorists is all but gone here as this time we see our hero John McClane leaves the wintery settings of his home turf and heads off to Moscow where his estranged son Jack (Jai Courtney) is arrested for an assassination. It seems that the young man last seen as a toddler is now a CIA Agent (handy!) whose mission is to rescue prisoner Komarov (Sebastian Koch) from Mr Bad Guy Chagarin (Sergei Kolesnikov) and his merry men of psycho’s Alik (Rasha Bukvic) and Irina (Yuliya Snigir).

Fitting and the only time the movie actually feels like Die Hard is when McClane becomes the “wrong guy in the wrong place” and gets involved and soon the film becomes a sort of Lethal Weapon buddy cop movie with a father and son team against all the bad guys of Russia

And that is really it………….

A Good Day………sod that, Die Hard 5 is without question the worst of the franchise. It doesn’t feel at all like a Die Hard film and while many may think I am judging this by the rest before it, its easy for me to say, judged on its own merit, its not even a good action film full stop. It actually feels like someone has come up with a script for a different movie and decided at the last minute to swap the lead Character to McClane and add the title of Die Hard in hope to entice the franchise fans to the weak script!

Even good old John is lost in the mix of the loud bangs and stupid scenes. What fans love and many who decide to make a Die Hard sequel forget is that McClane is not a superhero. This is a guy who was told by Al in the original to sit tight and wait for help to arrive, which he did! He never went looking for it, the trouble followed him and that is what made the character so unique. Over the many sequels, the character slowly watered down the action guy and made him more unbelievable, but still the writers knew who they were dealing with and kept the essence of what made him great!

Yes Die Hard 4.0 may have had its faults, but at times it had scenes where McClane was McClane…….I love the bit in the tunnel before he blows up the helicopter by use of his car. Before that set piece, you see him muttering to himself and it recalls memories of why we love him and how much he doesn’t want to get involved. The respect to the character in this addition is purely missing right from the off and I have never felt so annoyed before. You could blame the writers but surely Bruce should have realised that this is not the guy that made him a worldwide cinema star.

McClane in Die Hard 5 is so far removed but then so is the entire film. The mission here is to make the sequel loud, big and…..well that is about it! Any plot is washed away by the next huge expensive set-piece that was made in hope to blow fans away but in reality, while it looks pretty, you just get a feeling of emptiness, because you simply do not care whose involved and what is going on. We all cared and wanted McClane to survive that building, we all wanted Holly to get off that plane, we all sat glued that Zeus and McClane would solve that elephant puzzle…….even Justin Long bought some warmth to a computer geek, but here…..well, there is nothing really that grabs and hooks you even though Courtney himself gives a good showing as the younger McClane!

Even half way through the film cries out for a Rickman or an Irons to show up and thrill us. Damn you even begin to miss the nasty streak of Timothy Olyphant because this offering has the weakest bad guys to date and a motive that just flies over your head!
The main advantage of Die Hard 5 is the short running time. What could have been a disaster if this was a two hour long marathon, A Good Day doesn’t outstay its welcome and because of the very thin plot line, all we have is just over ninety minutes of set piece after set piece and endless cartoon violence that will either thrill the action junkie or leave many like myself cold! There is a prolonged car chase scene that seems to go on forever and then like all the films, we get the money shot ( remember McClane with the hosepipe and jumping off the building in the original, the boat blowing up in Vengeance) well here what we get is so far out of it and totally dumb that its the moment where you finally realise just how far gone the fifth sequel has taken the franchise!
No one out there truly believed that A Good Day To Die Hard would somehow match the 1988 offering, but no one expected it be this poor! Yes Willis saves the film from being a total disaster but for fans who truly love the franchise, they will witness a film that somehow has stolen the title of Die Hard and in reality has nothing to do with the franchise whatsoever. Those that moaned that Die Hard With A Vengeance did not feel like part of the franchise will be stunned at what this does, because make no mistake the only people who be saying “Yippeekiyay, motherfucker” is fans shouting at the big screen in despair at what they seeing to their beloved character!
Loud, brash and dumb, only Willis saves this from being a one star disaster as what we have is an average action movie that surely McClane and his loyal fans deserved and expected better…….
                                                                                               Rating: ★★☆☆☆  Just about………
About Ross Hughes 1931 Articles
Since my mother sat me down at the age of five years of age and watched a little called Halloween, I have been hooked on horror. There is no other genre that gets me excited and takes me to the edge of entertainment. I watch everything from old, new, to cheap and blockbusters, but I promise all my readers that I will always give an honest opinion, and I hope whoever reads this review section, will find a film that they too can love as much as I do! Have fun reading, and please DO HAVE NIGHTMARES!!!!!!


  1. Finally got to see this and I must say I agree with most of this review. Just didn’t feel like a Die Hard film, while Willis was on poor form and the script weaker. I would say it still just about works as a big dumb action film, but only just. I wonder if the forthcoming director’s cut will improve things…..Though I’m of the belief there are only three ‘proper’ Die Hard films 😉

  2. It was okay. It was silly and had lots of big explosions. It seemed cut to ribbons for me, like sitting in the cinema watching a dodgy copy from the market. I did enjoy the overblown car chase at the start though.

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