Bruce Willis is back as John Mclane in the unashamed action bust-up, helicopter-extravaganza, A Good Day to Die Hard. And that pretty much sums up the state of affairs. Appreciating that this is the fifth of the franchise, there’s little point in dwelling on plotlines or moral insights. Maclane’s son, played by Jai Courtney somehow gets embroiled with a CIA mission in Russia, only to end up thrown in the slammer and then breaking out to stop slippery terrorists stealing uranium from Chernobyl.
Yes, you heard that right, Chernobyl... in this flick, a Walmart of radioactive goodies for the bad guys. With all of this going on, it would be rude for papa, John Maclane, to miss out on the action, and sure enough he’s soon dispatched to Moscow to embark on an inter-action father-son ‘bromance’ while lending a helping hand to turn most foes and unfortunate bystanders into toast.
If, however, you are brazen enough to cast aside any intellectual or political curiosities, you are in for a considerable feast of action, stunts, vehicular carnage and mayhem. The scale of the movie is analogous to Bond, and sits uncomfortably somewhere between Bourne and Firefox - it all feel like a rather odd revisit of Cold War themes.
The action comes thick and fast from the outset, with a spectacular Moscow car chase (or rather armoured vehicle - SUV - van chase) that alone is worth the ticket price - and probably blew most of the budget. The patchy plot building and father-son bonding drifts along with some humour that strangely falls flat in a film that cries out for Willis to shine. But somehow he never does, and with Willis’ presence, there is a sense he could have played the hero alone once more, rather than succumbing to the aching-boned old guy handing down advice to the rookie - and let’s face it, we’ve seen that scenario once too often.
Despite its flaws, A Good Day to Die Hard does not delve into excessive CGI domination as was the case with 4. There is a good mix of real action and effects and the awesome helicopter shoot out mid-way kicks out stunning audio that will leave your chest resonating.
Although many will deem this latest Die Hard as possibly a sequel too far, fans of the blockbuster action genre will love the uninhibited style and will no doubt crave just one more outing from John Maclane.
Review by @jsmithwriter