Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney and Sebastian Koch in A Good Day to Die Hard (2013)

Willis' Rocky Fifth

When John McClane (Bruce Willis) hears that his wayward son Jack (Jai Courtney) has got himself in to trouble in Russia there is only one thing that he can do and is head to Russia to try and help him. What John doesn't know is that Jack is in fact CIA and in part of a covert operation to stop a nuclear weapons heist and his arrival puts a spanner in the works. Having caused issues which just makes their already strained father son relationship all the more strained the McClane's are going to have to work together to get out of the mess they find themselves in.

The writing was on the wall long before we got "A Good Day to Die Hard" and it started with "Die Hard 4.0" a movie which compared to this fifth "Die Hard" movie almost seems good. The trouble with "Die Hard 4.0" was that it made the whole of America John's playground where before he had been limited to at most a city which was more believable and so to step things up for the fifth movie they had to take McClane international and it simply doesn't work. When you take McClane out of his habitat it just doesn't seem believable when he goes all Yipee-Kay-Aye.

But ironically the decision to have John head to Russia and ending up saving a son who is in fact CIA is not the worst of it, nope the worst is that everything which made a "Die Hard" movie is either missing or fails. Those classic John McClane quips completely fall flat with some going unnoticed until you endure the movie the second time and suddenly realise that there is humour of sorts in there. Having John the action hero is also muted as this time we have the double team with his son which means as much attention goes on Jack going all Rambo. I can see what the idea was, build up the son character so that if needs be the franchise can be kept going with Jack becoming the focus but you can't do that as the "Die Hard" movies are about John McClane and as such Bruce Willis, not Jai Courtney.

Yet there is more and "A Good Day to Die Hard" is little more that a 98 minute chase movie. We get a few scenes to set up the story which have a very different style to previous "Die Hard" movies and then we have the first over the top car chase. You get to breathe for a minute or two and then the next chase sequence through a building as it gets riddled with machine gun fire. All of which builds up to a hysterically bad final action scene which is followed by the cheesiest of endings whose only redeeming quality is that Mary Elizabeth Winstead gets a few more seconds of screen time having appeared briefly at the start of the movie.

What this all boils down to is that "A Good Day to Die Hard" is poor and like Stallone's "Rocky V" the curse of the fifth movie strikes for Bruce Willis. I suppose if all you want is stupid action which is CGI enhanced then maybe it will work but for anyone else it will be poor. Hopefully Willis will come back for just one more "Die Hard" movie with Bonnie Bedelia and taking McClane back to basics for a classy farewell rather than more disappointing nonsense like this.