LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Bruce Willis is back in the role that made him an action star as John McClain in A Good Day to Die Hard which is the fifth installment of the Die Hard franchise.
We've seen him battle terrorists in a California Skyscraper, terrorists at LaGuardia airport in Washington D.C., terrorists who threaten to blow up a school in New York City, terrorists who have taken over the nation's communications and power grid (again in Washington D.C., and now we see him take on bad guys to clear his son's name in Moscow, Russia. John McClain has been in so many bad situations that you can name many Bruce Willis' films with a Die Hard reference.
Look Who's Talking Die Hard with Babies
Billy Bathgate Die Hard in the 1930's
Twelve Monkeys Die Hard in the Future
The Fifth Element Die Hard in the Future 2
Armageddon Die Hard on an Asteroid
The Sixth Sense Die Hard with Dead People
Looper Die Hard in the Future 3
The Die Hard franchise is known for wise cracks, a high body count, and high octane stunts. Willis' McClain is as unstoppable as a Terminator. Whether he's jumping from the rooftop of Nakatomi Towers using a fireman's hose as a rope, using an ejection seat to escape from an exploding airplane, using a wench from the front end of a pickup truck to zip line onto an ocean tanker, or killing a helicopter with a car; he always manages to find a way to win. A Good Day to Die Hard is no exception, in fact, the argument could be made that he manages to escape the grasp of death in explosive fashion more often than in the other films combined. The difference is that this time he's not alone. His son Jack, who we haven't seen since Die Hard in a Building (see what I did there).
To the specifics, John McClain learns that his wayward son, Jack, been imprisoned in Russia and is about to face trial and would be lucky to receive life in prison as a sentence. He rushes overseas to check on him and at walks right into an attempt to break another prisoner free which gives jack an opening to escape with the target of said bad guys. McClain gets in on the escape attempt and reunites with his son to learn that he has been working for the CIA and his prison partner has information to bring down a corrupt Russian government official who has access to weaponized Uranium. Father and son McClain set out on a bullet and explosion filled journey to stop the terrorists and get Jack back in good standing with the CIA. It's a very simple plot.
Here's what I didn't like: This film was plagued with continuity and editing problems from the beginning. Angles were blatantly wrong, people had disappeared, and cars were headed in the wrong direction to be a part of the action. During a shootout, John McClain is seen hiding behind a cart and pushing it towards a bad guy, in the next shot, the cart is next to the bad guy and blows up. Where did McClain go? How did the cart get there so quickly? There were more than instances of this. It also lacked some of the mystery of John McClain figuring out what the terrorists were really up to and one really seemed in danger at any time during the film. Also ask yourself how many times is it possible to escape from a chopper by jumping from a building in one movie.
What I did like: Explosions, bad guys getting their comeuppance, and Bruce Willis' portrayal of the wise-cracking, foul-mouthed John McClain.
Overall, at its' core, A Good Day to Die Hard is a fun, explosive movie and that's a good thing but I was disappointed. It didn't feel like a Die Hard movie, it felt like an action movie starring Bruce Willis.