A Good Day To Die Hard, directed by John Moore, is the fifth entry into the Die Hard series after a five plus year absence. Production begins almost two years ago and filming starts in April of last year in Budapest, Hungary. The film premieres in Los Angeles on January 31, 2013 with the movie studio (20th Century Fox) hosting a special tribute to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Die Hard franchise. Bruce Willis once again reprises his most famous role, John McClane with actor Jai Courtney (Spartacus, Jack Reacher) cast as his son Jack.
The story is about John traveling to Russia after realizing that Jack is arrested and standing trial for murder. Little does John know that Jack is an undercover CIA operative who commits the crime so he can get closer to a political prisoner named Yuri Komarov (played by Sebastian Koch). His mission is to free and protect Komarov until the U.S. government can retrieve a secret file that supposedly contains incriminating evidence against a corrupt high-ranking Russian government official named Victor Chagarin (Sergei Kolesnikov). John then finds himself involved in a terrorist plot while trying to protect his son from Chagarin’s men.
The story attempts to add a plot twist in the middle of the movie but it fails miserably because the so-called truth, once revealed, just doesn’t make any sense and may have audiences wondering what is the point of the twist in the first place. Since there is governmental conspiracy involved, viewers may expect the story to introduce a much more powerful antagonist later in the film. Instead, it leaves us with one of the weakest and useless villains ever written into a movie script. It’s remarkably evident that this film is only made to show off incredible car chase sequences and tons of explosions at the expense of a good story because the plot turns out to be very simple. The amount of action sequences and explosions intensify as the film progresses and this can potentially lead one to think that the film is trying to build momentum to an ultimate climax. However, just when a climactic moment or a final showdown is expected to take place, the movie suddenly ends after just 1.5 hour without any decent closure, thus leaving many of us begging for more as well as begging to know why Bruce Willis agrees to be a part of this mess in the first place.
This is a Die Hard film, but it’s not about John McClane. It’s about McClane Junior with John taking a backseat in his son’s adventure. For what it’s worth, Jai Courtney turns in a solid performance as Jack and there’s great chemistry between him and Willis. Unfortunately for Willis though, it’s a shame to see him overshadowed by another actor in his own Die Hard film while he plays sidekick in a movie franchise he’s helped make famous for more than two decades. Is the franchise trying to transfer the rein to a younger actor? We won’t know for sure until the sixth installment, which Bruce Willis has already expressed desire to shoot before he retires the character of John McClane for good. We only hope that he’ll return in Die Hard 6 to take back the rein and spotlight from McClane Junior and give fans a Die Hard movie worthy of the franchise’s name. For now, if you decide to watch this, make sure your expectations aren’t high so you won’t be utterly disappointed.