John McClane travels to Russia to get his son out of prison, only
to realize he's an undercover CIA operative tracking a terrorist.
A Good Day to Die Hard (2013)
Directed by John Moore
Written by Skip Woods
Starring Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney, Sebastian Koch,
Yulia Snigir, Rasha Bukvic, Cole Hauser, Sergey Kolesnikov
Sequel to 2007's Live Free or Die Hard
Based on characters created by Roderick Thorp
Due to the huge success of the last film, it was inevitable that we were going to get a fifth installment. Which we did, about six years later. Except something felt off. Sure, there were some changes with this installment. The return of the R-rating, his son being in it this time, and the move to Russia. Things which you would think would make for a refreshing change of pace. Yet, weirdly enough, these are the exact things which would make this installment feel off. I’m not alone in thinking this, due to critics not liking it very much and it not being a huge success at the box office. Also, consider the fact that this is now last one in the franchise.
So, let’s talk about those changes I mentioned and why they hinder, instead of help, the film. After the little backlash to the prior movie’s rating, it was decided to go back to the series R-rated affair. But, it never really feels like the filmmakers take huge advantage of this. Willis doesn’t drop that many F-bombs and the action isn’t nearly violent as the original three. It almost feels like this move was made to appease fans. As for the son being involved this time, the reason it doesn’t work is because it never works organically with the story. See, the film is clearly trying to use him as a way to pass over the reins of the franchise. Problem is, this is Willis’s action series, no one else’s. So, it’s extremely off-putting to watch. This could also explain why Willis seems so subdued this installment. He doesn’t feel like the McClane of prior movies. Finally, the Russian setting. The past films have always been in America, with our hero stopping some sort of terrorist group. Which makes the change of scenery just not work for me.
This is a disappointing Die Hard film. And, unfortunately, it currently stands as the final one. There was talks of doing a sixth, and final, installment. But, after watching this, I’d rather they just leave it alone. Willis already looks like he doesn’t want to be involved anymore and the story is the worst the series has offered. They can’t all be winners.