Yippie ki-yay, Mother Russia! I can’t claim credit for that amazingly clean pun (I love it), that was on the poster for the new fifth instalment of the Die Hard series. The Bruce Willis action saga turns 25 this year, without seemingly showing signs of… well, dying. Hard or otherwise. At least that’s what the box office receipts say. I think this time I’m not sure if I agree.
Die Hard 4 was done well I think. Apart from the usual plot holes and nitpicks you get from massive action films, as well as a totally preposterous standoff with a fighter jet on a freeway, it was a good romp that didn’t take itself too seriously.
Die Hard 5 is very different. The plot is wafer thin, occasionally forgotten entirely, and the reactions of the characters in increasingly dangerous situations seemed totally indifferent, even amused.
Bruce Willis, reprising his role as painted egg John McClane travels to Russia to extract his estranged son, currently held in prison and caught up in some barely explained plot between two high ranking officials. Except there are so many double agents and double crosses, it’s difficult (and hardly worth trying) to keep up. Such intrigue is just executed by someone changing their facial expression and either shooting someone unexpected or explaining their evil plan (which itself didn’t make much sense).
The ‘dynamic’ between McClane Sr and McClane Jr consists of Jr being angry at Sr and making bitchy comments, until Sr saves Jr enough times for an emotionless and macho reunion, followed by yet more macho ribbing. That’s ALL. The baddie didn’t seem to be a mastermind like we’ve seen in earlier movies, just a big ol’ liar.
To try and avoid these sort of criticisms, the cracks are papered over with increasingly insane levels of explosions, gun fights and car crashes, culminating in a spectacular explosion at the end, which appeared to be entirely volunteered by the person dying in it. WTF! Jai Courtenay was well fit though innit.
Hoping for a bombastic but substantial action movie, I was sad to find “Die Hard 5” as a shallow, poorly-sketched explodathon that even Bruce Willis looked bemused by. Weak! Even The Simpsons’ ripoff “McBain” would have been more entertaining.