So last week I was trying to get psyched for A Good Day to Die Hard (OR as any normal thinking person calls it – Die Hard 5) a movie which until a month ago I had not even heard was in production.
Browsing through Netflix, I came across “Fire With Fire” (Starring Bruce Willis, Rosario Dawson and Josh Duhamel) and I realised Bruce Willis career has reached that stage where his movies get released without anyone noticing.
Making him just a cut above the DVD rental careers that Steven Seagal and JCVD have cornered out for themselves until a couple of years ago.
But Bruce does still have the ability to surprise us and wake up from his slumber for movies like Looper or even Moonrise Kingdom (although some would argue he is just playing Bruce Willis but then again Picasso only painted Picasso’s)
Then I came across this video by Key And Peele which you should watch before reading on and watching A Good Day to Die Hard.
Key & Peele’s excitement made me adjust how to watch these most recent Die Hard movies and walking up to my screening I was genuinely excited to see what Bruce Willees would be doing in Russia with his estranged son, played by Jai Courtney, doing some “spy shit”.
I mean it couldn’t possibly be any worse than Die Hard 4.0 (still the worst of titles) where John McClane took on the Internet could it? (God I hated that one…)
I think everyone involved with A Good Day Die Hard knows what they are making and you should try to match those expectations when going in. No 5th movie in a long running franchise is a masterpiece or can even come close to what the first one was, Willis can play the gruff action hero in his sleep and has been doing exactly that in quite a few of his recent films. A Good Day to Die Hard doesn’t have any meta winking, its a pretty enjoyable, simple action movie with a complete insane plot and it could have been far worse.
Unlike his characters in Red or Cop Out, Bruce Willis actually does enjoy playing John McClane, the every man stuck in the most unbelievable circumstances he has no control over, is way in over his head and barely is able to figure out what the hell is going on.
Jai Courtney, looks a hell of a lot like Sam Worthington but is a more more watchable actor on screen, and when the McClane’s do have to deal with story exposition or the obligatory sentimental father-son bonding scenes they are done as wryly and winking at the camera as you would expect, they only last a couple of beats before the action starts.
The movie has some truly bonkers moments like the Febreze Anti Radiaton and the 5 word back story of the villain (they smuggled uranium, one got greedy, nuclear metldown)
A Good Day To Die Hard does have a few pretty good action set pieces, starting from the chase through the streets of Moscow at the start, the shoot out in the hotel as well as the final showdown in Chernobyl.
The movie has a few nods and twists like the original Die Hard did but nowhere as surprising or well put together, but that hasn’t been the case for any of the Gruberless Die Hard’s.
Like the Mclane’s the franchise has now become a bare bones, no nonsense action movie, almost a relic of another time.
Better than Die hard 4.0 and a lot better than some of the recent Bruce Willis movies he’s sleepwalked through.
Can it revive the franchise? No.
Does it have an an awesome Bruce Willees scene where he goes flying throw the air? YES!
Does his shirt get grimy at the end of it? Kinda!