The only thing I knew about the Die Hard films was that it was Joey and Chandler‘s favorite movie. Good thing my sparse knowledge doesn’t matter, because apparently none of the preceding four films had anything to do with the latest one.
A Good Day to Die hard is the fifth, and possibly not the last film in the franchise. That is if the fact that Bruce Willis can still hold and shoot many guns and barrel an armored Mercedes Benz truck through a vicious car chase scene at his age is indicative of anything. Also the film did well in the box office given its none-too-shy $92M budget.
The film revolves around two story lines – John McClane and his “vacation” in Germany to look for his imprisoned and estranged son John “Jack” McClane Jr played by Hollywood newbie Jai Courtney (who looked to me like a Phillip Phillips meets Shia La Beouf gone way buff), and the convoluted story of a political prisoner being harassed by a corrupt German politician. Of course, there is a “file” in question that people will shoot anyone in the head for, and of course, the American CIA is involved, the hero that will save the day. Did I hear you say “twist”? Ah, you will not be disappointed.
There are other things, however, to be disappointed about. For one, I already saw a version of that twist in Charlie’s Angels (though yes, that probably does not count as a legitimate action movie). And the John and Jack father-son drama got old and predictable pretty quickly. The actors have definite chemistry and a lot of funny moments, but I really wish Willis didn’t have to say “I am your father” too many times. He was like a clingy, gun slinging Darth Vader.
By this time, you would’ve realized I do not watch too many Rambo-type action films, because yes, often, the genre doesn’t put too much value on a well written script. But the Die Hard franchise had such a good rap and Willis is a good actor, so I was a little hopeful.
If however, you came in to the theater to see a long and violent car (truck) chase scene through heavy traffic wherein a lot of German cars get totaled, lots of heavy artillery and explosions every few frames, a sexy evil German lady in stilettos and a gun, and the two McClanes surviving bullet wounds, falls off buildings and what looked like a uranium contaminated explosion, then this is the film for you. A Good Day to Die is an action film at its very core, and it was a good adventure. I just really hope that one day, in general, the movie villains will stop gloating and exposing their megalomaniac intents before they kill the protagonists. That will make a good new twist.
Photo credits to sanfrancisco.cbsglobal.com