The Die Hard franchise is the epitome of the action hero genre and Bruce Willis’ major claim to fame. With four films already under his belt, John McClane once again returns to blow everything around him up to kingdom come, only now it’s all of Russia who gets caught in the crossfire.
Last we saw police lieutenant McClane he was saving the world and rescuing his daughter from cyber terrorists in Live Free or Die Hard. This time around, he travels to Russia after finding out that his estranged son Jack (Jai Courtney) has apparently got entangled with the wrong crowd and is awaiting trial for attempted murder. Once John finds Jack all hell eventually breaks loose and it’s father and son against the entire Russian crime syndicate.
A Good Day to Die Hard puts the pedal to the floor and doesn’t let up. It’s practically nonstop action from the get-go, and the absurdity of the first car chase sequence sets the tone for the rest of the film. While it’s nowhere near as ridiculous as driving a car into a helicopter, it shows that McClane is essentially this unkillable wise-cracking badass and that him and his son aren’t exactly on good terms. Amid the gunfire and explosions, though, there is room for this father and son relationship to blossom.
The story and character development are forced to the backseat while dramatic set pieces showcasing the impenetrable McClane family blowing everything up are at the forefront. While that’s different from the Die Hards of the past, it’s not necessarily a bad thing.
A Good Day to Die Hard is entertaining at the very least. The explosions are fun to watch, and the light banter between characters makes for a good laugh. If you’re looking for more about the man behind John McClane, then unfortunately this isn’t the film for that. It’s not better than its predecessors, but it’s not worse either. It’s just different.