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.