Welcome to the 5th instalment to a series which began back in 1988.
This time Police Officer John McClane (Bruce Willis) receives word about his son, Jack, who is in trouble in Russia. John goes to Russia only to find his son Jack (Jai Courtney) is, in fact, an undercover CIA agent. Both are now on the run and being hunted by a new group of villains, meaning this father and son duo must now get along and work together to survive the day or they will “Die Hard”.
Having been a massive fan of the previous four Die Hard films, I remember being rather excited to see this 5th instalment. I felt as a plot; it was a nice touch to introduce John McClane’s son after the lively introduction of his daughter in the 4th film. However, the chemistry between the two includes nothing but arguing and silly talk. During an early scene in the movie his son even points a gun at John McClane’s
M head, threatening to shoot him. At no point in this film did I find the relationship between the leading male characters believable.
John McClane also feels like more of a secondary character this time around and is no longer the leading man. Along with that, the character of John McClane has dramatically changed. He has no compassion nor expresses any real emotion. At one point he punches an innocent man and steals his car during a car chase sequence (what the?!?). To top it off, throughout this film the character yells out “I’m on vacation” at least four times…. why? I honestly don’t know. I thought he was Russia to save his son, right? Not lol.
Like the story, the action had potential. But honestly, for a Die Hard film, there isn’t much action compared to previous films before this. The action we do get is ruined by the well known shaky camera techniques as well as super-quick edits, making the fun moments painful to watch because it’s impossible to follow what’s going on.
Overall, this is an extremely dissatisfying Die Hard film. There is so much to dislike, but my biggest issue with this instalment was that the leading character John McClane had changed so much compared to the previous Die Hard films. The chemistry between the leads is also painful to watch. As for the plot, it’s messy, forgettable and weak. The day this film was released in cinemas was the day the franchise ‘died hard’, meaning I doubt we’ll see a 6th film in my lifetime.
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Review Written by Peter Walkden