Bruce Willis’ 5th outing as legendary cop, John McClane may be taking a battering from critics and die-hard (geddit?!) fans alike, but it’s an over the top, rollercoaster of an action film, that maybe doesn’t hark back to the original film in the franchise, but is certainly serviceable.
‘A Good Day to Die Hard’, sees McClane jetting off to Russia to check up on his estranged son. Now there’s very little character development between the two, and over the course of the events, played out over the course of one day, their relationship becomes that of an strong father-son super team. This is just one of the deficiencies the film carries, along with the constant handheld, shaky-cam that tends to dominate films nowadays, at times you genuinely think a hyperactive 7-year old, full of fizzy pop and sweets has been left in charge of filming. It’s a strange trend that no movie-goer really likes, yet directors and studios think we do. Perhaps it’s cheaper, who knows?! The plotline, a seemingly random turn of events is patchy and feels like it was developed on-set, such are the throw-off twists and turns.
But then this is Die Hard, a classic action franchise that keeps chugging along. Whilst this may be the worst of the lot so far, it’s still a perfectly fine action movie that is full of explosions, a 15 minute car chase which gets increasingly far-fetched as it progresses and the classic one-liners delivered perfectly by Willis, who proves that age is no barrier to his iconic role as McClane. I have to say whilst I enjoyed my time with it in the cinema, and it ran for the perfect amount of time at just over 90 minutes long, a couple of days later and gaps are appearing in my memory of it. It’s a bit of a throwaway film is what I’m trying to say!
Russia is a seminal background which offers nothing bar a few highways for some of the ridiculous driving stunts for Willis and his enemy to utilise. Although, with that being said, I appreciated the use of both the Russian language in at least 30% of the plot, although with that being said the natives did magically learn how to speak and understand English remarkably quickly. Another risk, was the employment of a majority Russian cast, surely done to cut down on costs, but it’s still nice to see a stone-cold Hollywood, patriotic film, hand out roles to foreign actors and actresses. If we ever see a Die Hard 6, don’t expect it to be in an equally ‘evil’ country, at least in America’s mind, like North Korea or China!
A sixth outing is in the offing, if they sort a good story out, drag in a director who’s past repertoire doesn’t include ‘Max Payne’, and boost up the age rating to at least a 15, there’s still hope for the franchise. ‘A Good Day to Die Hard’, not a bad way to spend an hour and a half!