Movie Review: A Good Day to Die Hard

If someone asked me to name the best action movie ever. Die Hard would be the two words to spring out of my mouth. Bruce Willis’s role of John McClane turned him into a mega-star overnight and set the bar for all action movies. Twenty five years later he’s still killing bad guys and spouting one liners in the fifth installment of the franchise A Good Day to Die Hard.

Where do I begin to explain all the problems I had with this blatant attempt to cash in on our nostalgia with this unnecessary sequel..? Lets start with the plot, or the lack of one. John McClane heads to Moscow to check on his son Jack (played by Jai Courtney) who has run afoul with the law. When McClane arrives at the Russian Courthouse all Hell breaks loose in true Die Hard fashion. Let’s just say everything from dirty politics, espionage and Chernobyl are involved in the plot turmoil and none of it made any sense. One thing that was great about the first two Die Hard films was the stories were smart. This plot is about as thin as Bruce Willis’s hair.

The other negative was the casting. What has happened to the villain factor in this franchise. Hans Gruber is one of the great villains in movie history. A Good Day Die Hard has a bunch of small time crooks who back stab each other or get shot by McClane and son. There is no real threat to McClane as there has been in the past installments.

Jai Courtney brings nothing fresh to the film as McClane’s son, Jack. The creators may want to think twice before moving forward with Jai leading this franchise. In Courtney’s defense, the script seemed so thrown together that even if another more established actor had taken the role of Jack, it still wouldn’t have mattered.

The final problem I had with A Good Day to Die Hard is the character John McClane. McClane was everyone’s favorite foul-mouthed above average Joe who saves the day. This version of McClane is quiet, reserved and worst of all not funny. The Die Hard franchise was always great at mixing in the laughs during the action packed ride. Not once in the 97 minute running time did I laugh. Also when did McClane become Superman? I always like that McClane could take a licking but kept on ticking. The fact that he is taking down helicopters and jumping off buildings without a fire hose attached is getting ridiculous.

I hate to say it, but it’s over for the Die Hard franchise. It’s time for McClane to turn in his badge and enjoy retirement. I had concern with the Valentine’s Day release date and now I know why. A Good Day to Die Hard is an obvious cash grab aimed at guys like me holding on to the John McClane from years past. My advice is to skip A Good Day to Die Hard and go home and watch the original. Overall I give A Good Day to Die Hard one and a  half potatoes.

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