There are certain names that stand above the crowd when it comes to action films. Everyone knows Schwarzenegger, Stallone and Willis. These names transcend the genre and have become cultural icons. They are the kings of their craft, that still, to this day have not been surpassed by the new breed of younger actors. When it comes to action films, none have more clout than these three but if the box office receipts of Arnold and Sly’s last films are any indication, the days of them ruling the box office may be over. The only thing these guys have left to trade on is nostalgia and that is exactly where Bruce Willis dared to tread with A Good Day to Die Hard.
The fifth Die Hard movie sees series hero, John McClane (Bruce Willis), heading to Russia to see his estranged son, who has seemingly gotten himself mixed up in some dirty business. Turns out his son can handle himself and good old Dad is just mucking up his scene. You see, Jack McClane is a CIA agent on a mission to extract a high value political prisoner. John bumbles his way around, destroying whole sections of the city as he tries to “rescue” his son from himself. McClane’s interference causes his son’s mission to go sideways setting up a long string of gunfights and explosions against the pretty backdrop of Russia. There is just one problem though, none of it has a point.
Is McClane doing all this to save his son? From who? From what? The main villain in A Good Day to Die Hard is so inadequately defined that those questions are never really answered. And it seems like director John Moore felt that he could blast past any sort of plot hole by just blowing more stuff up. It is like a Michael Bay film, with less purpose and weaker explosions.
When it comes to the Die Hard franchise, A Good Day to Die Hard is a black mark, and is easily the weakest of the series. That said, even when compared against other action movies, this film fails to deliver. Without the Die Hard name, this film is nothing and appealing to the nostalgia of series fans to deliver such a subpar product makes it a bigger black mark than it already was.