Film review: A Good Day to Die Hard
HALFWAY through this outlandish fifth instalment of the Die Hard franchise, a Russian henchman scolds John McClane (Bruce Willis) for recklessness in the face of death.
"So arrogant," sneers the East European underling, "it's not 1986, you know!"
No it's not, despite the Cold War stereotypes that perpetuate Skip Woods' shambolic script.
A Good Day To Die Hard is a high-speed tour down Memory McClane that cynically exploits our nostalgia for one of modern cinema's most tenacious action heroes.
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It's been 25 years since Willis' wise-cracking cop stormed the Nakatomi Plaza to rescue his wife from German terrorist Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) in the original Die Hard. Since then, McClane has demolished an airport, played deadly games with Gruber's psychotic brother (Jeremy Irons) and hacked down a gang of cyber terrorists in the company of his daughter Lucy (Mary Elizabeth Winstead).
For this latest assignment, estranged son Jack (Jai Courtney) enters the fray, joining the old man in Moscow on a testosterone-fuelled romp.
There's no art, creativity or invention in John Moore's overblown sequel; no subtlety nor emotion, even with the strained father-son relationship at the heart of Woods's screenplay.
Just outrageous set pieces which defy the laws of physics, deafening explosions that shake the cinema and Willis delivering his "Yippee-ki-yay" catchphrase with a weariness we share by the end credits.
A Good Day To Die Hard is a soulless money-machine exercise.
The plot is crudely bolted together, sandwiching pyrotechnics between fractious father-son bonding.
There's no palpable screen chemistry between Willis and Courtney, which undermines the gradual reconciliation of their two characters. It's anything but a good day for Die Hard.