Some guys just have bad luck. Always the wrong guy at the wrong place at the wrong time.
Story of John McClane's life.
No matter where he goes, it always seems death, destruction and mayhem always follow him--and the same is true in the latest installment of the successful Die Hard film franchise.
While the first four films, with maybe the exception of 2007's Live Free or Die Hard, put McClane (Bruce Willis) in plausible situations for a cop out to foil terrorists plans, A Good Day to Die Hard just pushes the envelope a bit too far.
Director John Moore strays too far from the successful formula that helped launch Bruce Willis' character defining role.
At a relatively short run time of 97 minutes, the film pushes the breakneck pace without establishing much of a story at all.
Soon after the opening credit roll, McClane is neck deep in bad guys again, destroying half of Moscow.
While Willis' character doesn't need much background story at all, it would have been nice to see some of the terrorists ambitions and reasons for going through with their devious plot.
The film starts off with McClane being handed a file informing him of how his estranged son, Jack McClain (Jai Courtney), has gotten himself in a load of trouble in Russia.
From there, McClane "goes on vacation" to Russia to try and find Jack and help him out of the trouble he's in.
This is where the plot gets extremely convoluted. For about the entire first half of the movie, audiences will be confused as to what's actually going, with little indication of just who these terrorists are, what their ambitions are, and why they're trying to take out Jack.
Eventually, around the 45 minute mark, the plot is stated and you actually kind of start to see what's going on.
From there, Moore tries to implement a classic Die Hard plot, but doesn't really succeed in the way the previous four installments do.
The action sequences, while done rather well, seemingly make Jack and John into these indestructible, superhuman killing machines.
This is where A Good Day to Die Hard falls flat. In the first three films, McClane is beaten down and broken before taking out the main villain.
Against every antagonist in the previous films, it's always been a battle of wits, where McClane and the head villain in charge always taunt each other, trying to gain the upper hand on one another.
You really get the sense that he's just a simple beat cop in the wrong place at the wrong time.
To a degree, you get the sense of that in the newest film, but it's just not really all that realistic.
John, while delivering his same cynical quips, realizes his relationship with Jack is strained, and tries to atone for messing up the relationship.
Jack, meanwhile, is intent on finishing his mission for the CIA.
While it's nice to see the differences between the two McClanes on screen, it's just a bit far fetched that a city cop would find himself working a CIA operation, regardless if it's a father-son tandem or not.
John, who relies on his been there, done that experiences as a street cop are nice to see in conjunction with Jack's straight-laced CIA training.
There are some heart-felt moments between father and son, who work throughout the film to rebuild their relationship, which is nice to see.
In all, there are some funny moments and some fun firefights, but those are really the only high points A Good Day to Die Hard has to offer.
There are just too many borderline ridiculous stunts that overreach any city cop's ability to perform.
This COULD have been a really great, new direction for the Die Hard franchise. It COULD have been a way to bridge to a new generation of Die Hard installments with Jack taking over the franchise as the main character--which still could happen.
Instead of trying to one-up all the gunfights and explosions of the four prior films, Moore could have really knocked it out of the park by focusing on what made McClane's adventures so likable.
That all being said, action fans who don't want much in the way of plot will have some fun with this latest outing.
I sincerely hope this isn't the final outing Willis portrays his iconic character. Something just tells me he won't let his rendition of McClane go by the wayside with such a lackluster ride into the sunset.
Again, I'm no professional movie critic, and as stated, there is some fun to be had here. Just don't expect it to be one of the better installments in the series.