A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD (John Moore, 2013)
Way to go John Moore raising our hopes unbelievably high and burning them down to the ground, faster than you can say "Yippie-ki-yay, mother******". DIE HARD, one of the barometers of the action movie genre, and the film that launched Bruce Willis into stardom, became a cult classic because the story of one lone hero , who is in the wrong place at the wrong time became the textbook definition of cinematic cool. In fact, the 1988 original and the three other sequels it spawned were guilty pleasures of slam-bang action and memorable villains (Alan Rickman and Jeremy Irons at least) that every DIE HARD movie becomes a class in itself. Sadly, such characteristics do not apply to the fifth movie, which although riddled with explosions per minute, is actually hollow inside.
First of all, nobody wanted a father-son bonding moment for John McClane. Second, Jai Courtney who plays McClane's son Jack, is so forgettable I almost mistook him for Henry Cavill, or Sam Worthington. Third, the plot is about as preposterous as the existence of this movie that I felt like I've been led into a run-for-your-life situation that didn't mean sh*t in the end.
Another wrong move DIE HARD 5 made is the choice of villain. McClane is a badass cop, and to put an unworthy opponent in his path is not only insulting but a cinematic idiocy. Where art thou Hans Gruber? Where is that brutal brawl with Alexander Godunov? Even the female villain isn't worthy of Maggie Q and her "kung fu sh*t".
DIE HARD worked because all elements work perfectly together- it's a family drama, a terrorist thriller, a character study, and a satire rolled into one. DIE HARD 2 worked because most of the elements in the first film were retained. DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE triumphed over DIE HARD 2 because it's a guessing game potboiler that also features Samuel L. Jackson. DIE HARD 4 is relevant, timely and made the most out of its source material.
DIE HARD 5 further exploited a much-exploited dent in Russian history, and had us for fools in the third act. Explosion after explosion are put in front of us to hide the fallibility of the plot, and with so much detonation everywhere, McClane and son cannot possibly survive the ordeal. Then again, this is Hollywood make-believe.
If you've seen this movie, I'm afraid there's no unseeing it. The damage may be permanent.