Bad, Bald and Balderdash
Given that Hollywood executives look at film franchises as cows and try to milk as much as possible, Die Hard 5 aka A Good Day To Die Hard is insanity. And well before the release of Die Hard 5, the studio has already considered Die Hard 6 for the year 2015. If this is the way to go with franchises, I suggest they move to Direct-to-Video. The reason being the tireless storylines that all lead back to the first Die Hard – one good guy against a hundred baddies. The downfall began with the titling. Die Hard 4 was called Live Free or Die Hard, and the latest one is called A Good Day To Die Hard. Both sound kiddish and do not respect Bruce Willis’ action hero stature that the first three films had established.
Is it necessary to explain John McClane’s hatred towards technology in every Die Hard film. If I’m correct, Die Hard 4 was based on that. I can easily visualize the studio meeting for Die Hard 4. One executive would say “McClane hates terrorists and technology. Can we do something with that?” An anticipated screenwriter gets a spark “Imagine USA under attack by a group of cyberterrorists.” And that gave birth to the movie, coupled with a few wild stunts and some one-dimensional characters.
In Die Hard 5, studio execs have pitted McClane against USA’s most admired enemy, Russia. But, why would an US cop go to Russia? The motive would have to be strong, and they have harbored on McClane’s son, Jack. In Die Hard 4, you met McClane’s daughter, Lucy. And in the first two Die Hard films, we’ve established that John and Holly McClane have a daughter and a son. Hence, it’s obvious to introduce the son, who we come to know is a CIA operative working on an undercover mission, until Papa McClane jumps into the epicenter. All hell had already broken loose in the first two Die Hard films, and what’s left of it broke loose in the next two films, making Die Hard 5, a sober action film. There isn’t enough of anything in this film. Not enough action, not enough catchphrases, and not enough Willis.
Die Hard 5 in a few ways reminded me of the 2012 action film The Cold Light of Day where Willis played a retired CIA agent who is soon killed and his son (played by Henry Cavill) fights till the end. There’s the aging father figure who still likes to take a shot, there’s the courageous son who likes to play with fire, and there’s a menacing antagonist who just wants to kill everyone.
The action in Die Hard 5 is juvenile when compared to the first two films. One defect can be less body count. And with Die Hard 6 in the loop, god save the victims of John McClane.