Director: John Moore
Cast: Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney, Sebastian Koch, Mary Elzabeth Winstead, Yulia Snigir
Synopsis: John McClane is off to Moscow after tracking down his estranged son Jack, whom is facing a prison sentence due to various nefarious dealings. John is outside the courthouse when a major escape is attempted. Unfortunately, John intervenes and ruins Jack’s attempt to extricate another political prisoner, given that he is actually working for the CIA.
Die Hard 4.0 (elsewhere known as Live Free and Die Hard) was an enjoyable revisit to the Die Hard franchise that successfully intertwined McClane’s family issues with a threat that actually seemed well beyond him… a major technological threat. A Good Day to Die Hard tries to repeat the successful formula, having John reunite with his other child and facing another challenge well beyond him, navigating a foreign country. The result, whilst entertaining, feels a bit like a rehash, and given the quality of the franchise up to this point, is in the end disappointing.
Willis as ever is charismatic in an action role, but that is hardly a surprise, given that he can turn in an action performance playing off his geriatric status in his sleep. For me, a rehash of the previous film would not be so bad if some of the other performances could have matched Willis for star wattage. Courtney is suitable in his role, but his lack of a sense of humour makes him a very difficult presence to hang out with. He is the antithesis of Justin Long, whose interaction with Willis made most of the fun of 4.0. The villains similarly are not of the same ilk as Timothy Olyphant, who is incredibly talented despite having starred in more than one poor film.
The action itself is of a high quality, with some spectacular sequences particularly in the closing third of the film. The fact that everything before this is well executed is of little matter though, as there is little in the first two-thirds that we have not seen before. That said, at least all the stunts do come off more realistically that some of those in Die Hard 4.0.
A Good Day to Die Hard is still an entertaining film, and there are worse ways to kill 90 minutes. Given the iconic status of Die Hard, however, the franchise deserves better.
3 stars out of 5