Die Hard celebrates its 25th anniversary this year and rather aptly a brand new entry in the blockbuster franchise has just been released in cinemas.
Following the events of the previous movie, McClane has patched things up with his daughter so he’s off to Moscow to try and resolve his differences with his estranged son Jack who has just been arrested for murder. No sooner does John arrive in Moscow and he’s reunited with his secret agent son (Jai Courtney), the McClanes face off against a ruthless gang of Russian terrorists to thwart a nuclear weapons heist.
For all its problems the previous entry Die Hard 4.0 was at least a solid (if ridiculous) action movie that retained some of the elements that made the franchise the success it was. Sadly all sense has gone out the window here and McClane is portrayed as more of a superhero than the average American cop caught in extraordinary circumstances.
What made the first Die Hard such a success was the simple but effective concept, a charasmatic villain and a razor sharp script as thrilling as it was witty. The concept has been recycled relentlessly over the last 25 years and from Under Siege to The Raid the echoes of Die Hard’s legacy can still been seen. This latest entry seems content to just be another run of the mill action flick, all of John McClane’s bravado and attitude has been dialed down so much Bruce Willis is almost on autopilot.
In the US the movie received an R rating which usually translates to a 15 or 18 in the UK, this was greeted with a hugely positive response from fans however in order to secure the more commercially friendly 12A certificate several cuts had to be made to the UK version.
These minor cuts throughout are highly noticeable in some of the key action sequences, in a similar way the producers of Taken 2 opted to make numerous edits to the theatrical release, the same has been done here much to the UK fans displeasure.
A Good Day To Die Hard has its moments, the set pieces are impressively put together and there’s plenty of bang for you buck. The fast paced Bourne style car chase and climatic shoot out shows glimmers of the McClane we know and love, it’s a shame the rest of the movie wasn’t made with the same frantic pace as these breathless action scenes which are worthy of the Die Hard brand.
Jai Courtney shows promise as a future action leading man, there is the feeling that his inclusion is there to pass the baton and Willis has already said he’d like to make a sixth movie if this one is successful. These highlights aside there’s little about A Good Day To Die Hard that makes it feel like a Die Hard movie.
Director John Moore (Max Payne) is already at work on a extended cut that will be released on Blu Ray in July, although it’s going to take more than a few extra scenes and some added violence to fix this.