A Good Day to Die Hard Review
By Rich Cline
There really is no point in looking for logic in a fifth Die Hard movie; these films have become a parody of themselves, wallowing in their inane action set pieces and sassy one-liners without much concern for plot or coherence. And this is no exception. There may be the bare bones of a decent narrative here, as our hero John McClane gets in the middle of a messy spy situation. But the unsubtle filmmaking blunts everything. On the other hand, it's so committed to entertaining us that resistance is futile.
This time, John (Willis) takes an urgent trip to Moscow, where his estranged son Jack (Courtney) has been arrested for murder. But before John even gets into the courthouse, chaos erupts in the streets and John ends up on the run with Jack and Yuri (Koch), a fellow prisoner. As cars and buildings crash down around them, John discovers that Jack is actually an undercover CIA operative helping Yuri escape in exchange for a file of information about corrupt government official Viktor (Kolesnikov). As Viktor's tap-dancing goon (Bukvic) chases them into the countryside, there are a series of twists and turns that lead them to, of all places, Chernobyl.
But don't worry, an overdramatic scene establishes that the nuclear residue can be instantly eradicated by some sort of magical gas. So this frees our heroes for the usual antics involving enormous guns, mammoth explosions and lots of bad guys coming to inventively grisly ends. Along the way there's one of the most mind-bogglingly destructive car chase imaginable, like Bourne on acid, as well as a couple of preposterously fiery helicopter assaults. In between, Willis and Courtney have fun with the father-son dynamic, alternating between bitterness and emotional bonding before heading back out to "kill some scumbags".
Thankfully, they're both clearly having fun while throwing themselves manfully into every action scene. Director Moore doesn't have much imagination, but he certainly knows how to keep things moving. Which is a good thing since there isn't even a hint of suspense along the way. We just sit back and enjoy the spectacle, chuckle at the in-jokes and corny dialog, and brace ourselves for the next firebomb. All of which bodes well for the next film in the franchise, although this time it would be nice if John's daughter (Winstead) could get in on the action, rather than just offer another lift to the airport.
Facts and Figures
In Theaters: Thursday 14th February 2013
Box Office Worldwide: $304.7M
Distributed by: 20th Century Fox
Production compaines: Temple Hill Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, TSG Entertainment, Giant Pictures, Dune Entertainment, Ingenious Media, Big Screen Productions, Origo Film Group
Rotten Tomatoes: 14%
Fresh: 30 Rotten: 181
Cast & Crew
Starring: Bruce Willis as John McClane, Jai Courtney as Jack McClane, Sebastian Koch as Komorov, Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Lucy McClane, Yuliya Snigir as Irina, Radivoje Bukvić as Alik, Cole Hauser as Collins, Amaury Nolasco as Murphy, Sergey Kolesnikov as Chagarin, Roman Luknár as Anton, Zolee Ganxsta as Russian Mafia Member, Péter Takátsy as Prosecutor, Pavel Lychnikoff as Taxi driver, Megalyn Echikunwoke as Reporter, Melissa Tang as Lucas, Attila Árpa as Russian Mafia Member, Norbert Növényi as Russian Mafia Member, Yuliya Snigir as Irina