In reference to a fifth addition to the action franchise, the big question on everyone’s mind should be Why? For what reason or necessity is there a fourth sequel to a film released twenty-five years ago? Does anyone care?
Willis didn’t need to do another Die Hard. He’s raking in the cash making stupid guest appearances as Action Hero Bruce Willis in The Expendables and GI Joe so why did he agree to do this? Unlike his 80s counterparts, Willis can act (when paired with the right director, at least) and he can do it well. Die Hard 5 is just Willis asleep in his trailer for two hours.
The film itself offers very little for discussion. There’s another terrorist plot, this time involving Russians and McClane’s part is due to his own son working with the terrorists. All the hallmarks of an unintelligent action movie are here – evil genius playing chess, clear plastic cells used to encase said evil genius, evil foreigners that hate Americans, Americans shouting because they can’t understand the language, plotline defaulting on nuclear devices even though it doesn’t really make sense – and that just about sums it up.
Jai Courtney’s appearance does nothing to further his own credentials beyond whatever it is he’s already done. That’s no slight against the man – he just serves so little purpose beyond a plot device and to play Son #1 so Daddy McClane can feel bad about saving the world the previous four times when his son was waiting for him at home. When you’re working with such an awful screenplay as this, your options are limited (one of the action lines is ‘Bad Guy enters eating a carrot’ and I’m not kidding). As cool as the scene was where McClane chased his son who was being chased by terrorists, it a) was ruined by nonsensical editing, and b) didn’t make any sense because apparently McClane in a Ford Taurus can overpower something of a fast-moving tank-like vehicle.
The problem with A Good Day to Die Hard is that Willis could have used the time for something far superior. That’s the biggest loss we’ve suffered. Coming off Looper, Moonrise Kingdom and if we can go a little further back in time, Sin City, he’s in no danger of losing gigs anytime soon. He’s getting work with solid filmmakers and for that we’re eternally grateful. What we don’t need is more of this. This, this complete utter nothingness. The King is dead, long live the King.
Nicholas Brodie - follow Nick on Twitter here: @fodusempire