REVIEW: Keep expectations low for 5th ‘Die Hard’

By Jared Huhta

Nothing says “Happy Valentine’s Day” like explosions, blood and Bruce Willis. That’s exactly what I experienced when I watched “A Good Day to Die Hard” Feb. 14, the film’s release day. Nothing more. Nothing less. That’s perfectly OK with me.

“A Good Day to Die Hard,” the fifth installment in the 25-year-old “Die Hard” franchise, continues the same over-the-top action that’s more similar to 2008’s “Live Free or Die Hard” than the original films from the 80s and 90s. John McClane (Willis), a heroic NYPD detective, travels to Russia to rescue his disgruntled son Jack (Jai Courtney), an undercover CIA agent caught in the middle of a government conspiracy. Eventually, Jack settles his daddy issues and allows his father to tag along to prevent terrorists from acquiring plutonium in Chernobyl. And yes, McClanedoes say “yipee-kay-yay.”

Jared Huhta (Photo by Mike Ayers)

Currently, “A Good Day to Die Hard” is getting awful reviews because of the exact reasons why I enjoyed the film. McClane’s one-liners are still hilarious, especially when he delivers them in life or death situations. And those situations come quite often. Yes, this lowly NYPD detective barrel rolls an armored truck through Russian traffic. He hangs by his fingernails from an exploding helicopter. He is engulfed by numerous fireballs. None of it is realistic (McClane doesn’t bleed until an hour into the film), which may irk the diehard fans of the films where McClane actually had hair.

But it’s still entertaining, even if this glorified action hurts the film’s credibility. It’s tough to imagine director John Moore taking his own movie seriously. It’s as if he is saying “Hey, watch how he survives this. I betcha didn’t see that coming!”

(Photo provided by movieposterdb.com)

The plot is also very weak, thanks to non-existent villains (Is the bearded dude or that one chick the bad guy?) and lack of chemistry between the McClanes. They’re certainly not Harrison Ford and Sean Connery from “Indiana Jones.” Willis’ character himself also has very little development. Wouldn’t someone who just blew away 30 Russians go through some kind of emotional turmoil?

Were my expectations low when I saw “A Good Day to Die Hard”? Oh, absolutely. I bought a ticket only to see Bruce Willis blow stuff up. Happy Valentine’s Day, indeed.

3/5 stars

Jared Huhta is a sophomore history education major. This review reflects the view of the writer only.

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