The fifth installment of Die Hard greets us from Russia, and shows that even John McClane has trouble with his kids. Taking a nostalgic trip back to similar tension that we felt during the Cold War. Bruce Willis reprises his role as wise-cracking, explosion creating, John McClane. This time, he is paired up, begrudgingly, with his own son, Jack McClane (Jai Courtney), who has gotten himself into a little trouble in Russia. Taking a ‘vacation’ John boards a plane for Moscow and finds things are definitely not as they seem. Taking on the role of both a bumbling American tourist and father, showing us that he is merely human and has aged since the first Die Hard that came out in 1988.
The Die Hard movies are a unique brand of action, in that, they don’t take themselves too seriously. Between cars flying in the air, explosions, Bruce Willis and now Jai Courtney, will always come out of the mess with a smirk on their face and a quick witted jab. The film also plays off the old tension between America and Russia. John will often attempt to speak the language, only to end up getting frustrated and punching someone, or a Russian taxi cab driver singing his own rendition of the famous Frank Sinatra song, New York New York. It’s a humor that will not be lost on it’s viewers who are in their twenties and older, but, maybe a little on younger viewers. In a matter of sense, John McClane is just a typical American tourist, well, somewhat typical.
Director John Moore directed the film in the fast paced speed we’re use to when it comes to the Die Hard series. But, on certain occasions, shots of John reflecting on himself, or his son, will be shot in a slower speed. In one scene in particular, when John first arrives in Moscow and sees his son, the audience sees the speed slowed, in the background a Russian flag waving slowly. Little things like this make this film seem more then just your typical action film, but, a film with some thought behind it. John McClane has been known for being a hero, but, having trouble with his own son. I guess you can say through all the explosions it has some heart to it, and, that’s never a bad thing to show in a film.
Willis does a fantastic job once again as John McClane. He embraces his now older self, and the role as the meddlesome father who can still kick some serious butt. Newcomer Jai Courtney plays the now grownup Jack. The chemistry between him and Willis was good. At times it feels a little forced, but, as the film progresses, it feels more natural, and Courtney grows on you. The two work well as a team, and compliment each other when it comes to methods, and of course, age.
All in all, A Good Day to Die Hard, is a good installment to the franchise. If you’re a fan of action, comedy, or the Die Hard films, don’t miss this one. The film presents a good plot, plenty of twists, wonderful acting, and a great addition to the franchise it comes from.
9 out of 11
About the Movie:
Synopsis: John McClane travels to Russia to help out his seemingly wayward son, Jack, only to discover that Jack is a CIA operative working to prevent a nuclear-weapons heist, causing the father and son to team up against underworld forces.
Director: John Moore
Produced: Dune Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox, Ingenious Film Partners.
Starring: Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney, Sebastian Koch, Mary Elizabeth Winstead,
Release: Feb. 14th 2013