February 14, 2013
This turned out to be quite a disappointing Valentine's date movie for us today. My wife and I are fans of this great action movie franchise from its first to the fourth installments. However in my opinion, this fifth one fails to make the standard set by its predecessors.
"A Good Day to Die Hard" brings Detective John McClane (Bruce Willis) from New York City to the mean streets of Moscow. He went there to locate and bring home his supposedly delinquent son, John Jr. However, he was in for a big surprise as his son was actually in Moscow as a CIA agent working on a bizarre complicated case involving Chernobyl and nuclear weapons. Will the estranged father and son be able to reconnect with each other while battling the Russian bad guys?
I know, that story summary sounded corny and it is. Like in previous Die Hard films, I was ready to accept the superhuman abilities of the McClanes in the action scenes. However the plot of this one was really too weak and riddled with holes. The climax made me scratch my head and wonder how that could happen because of its illogical development.
The action scenes, however, were really out of this world in this one. In the first sequence alone, you cannot count the number of cars that were destroyed as the McClanes and the bad guys wildly plow and rampage through Moscow's heavy traffic. The Mercedes-Benz logo is front and center in many of these car chase scenes. Talk about product placement! There is also one awesome explosive helicopter scene to cap it all off at the end.
The bald Bruce Willis even looks more grizzly than his 57 years, but to his credit, he is as effective an action star as before. He did look a little like he was phoning in the non-action scenes. His usually sharp wit was wanting here as he mouthed his repetitive lines about being on vacation and not getting any respect. The main problem here is the lack of any chemistry between Willis and the actor who played his son, Jai Courtney. This new actor did not have the charisma of Samuel L. Jackson in the third movie, and Justin Long in the fourth.
Sure it was explosive and noisy as the other Die Hard films, but it shows that the story in which these explosions and noise happens still matters. The first Die Hard film all happened within the confines of a single building, yet the action in that one was all the more exciting and riveting than the huge action stunts in this one. This is just OK for me, even a tad on the boring side.