Cast: Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney, Sebastian Koch, Radivoje Bukvic
Director: John Moore
Plot: McClane (Willis), heads to Russia, when he hears that his son, Jack (Courtney) has been sentenced to life in prison. When he arrives, however, he soon discovers that Jack is actually a spy working for the CIA…
I have always enjoyed reviewing bad movies. Maybe it is something to do with the fact that I want to get a career in the industry and every time I see an awful script, it makes my dream job seem that little bit easier to get to. Another thing is that my arrogance loves criticising and over-analysing films. Yes, I love reviewing bad movies. However, please know that I took absolutely no pleasure in writing this review.
The original Die Hard is my favourite movie. Ever. Call it a simple action movie, but it struck all of the right chords with me and pretty much became symbolic of everything I wanted from the action genre. Sure, the franchise went downhill, but I still loved the series. With Die Hard 4.0, depending on who you ask, the franchise was saved or killed. I believed McClane was back: sure, now he has reached superhero proportions, but if he was going to be riding more jets, then I was fine with that. Die Hard was back!
Well, until Die Hard 5… It truly amazed me that so many producers and editors agreed that this script should make the final cut. The dialogue was awful, the characters were thin and the subtle throwbacks to the other Die Hards were painfully cheesy (I can’t tell you the obvious one without spoiling the ending). It was truly heart-breaking to watch. The one blessing is that the film was over before it began: it seemed like a very short film. Another piece of evidence that no one really could be bothered with this script.
One of the things I look most for in a Die Hard film is the villain and here we are given the worst one yet. Alik, the hitman chasing the McClanes, tries to be quirky, but comes across as an imbecile. There are some twists throwing up new bad guys, who, in fairness, are better, but by this point of the film, it is too late to save the day. I also liked the fact that there are nameless thugs we could put a face to throughout the other Die Hard films, but we don’t have that here. The closest we get is a bald guy, who is killed off pretty much moments after he is introduced. A let-down.
I felt so sorry for Bruce Willis in this film, because he throws himself into the role yet again. He cannot be blamed for this train wreck of a movie. Despite given some shoddy lines, he goes full McClane for it and at the very least, he brought a couple of smiles to my face during the film. If only Courtney could match up to Willis, then we might have had a good movie on our hands. Sadly, Courtney’s character is a bland cliche, who no one ever cares for. Part of me wanted his character to get killed off, just to inject some emotion into the film.
At the very least, we have the action to fall back on. There are some good set-pieces, even if they are sometimes badly used. The final fight in the film does save the movie (I especially enjoyed the use of “Yippie Ki Yay, Motherf….” in this one), giving us what we wanted to see from the start. The chase sequence at the start was OK as well, even if it did drag on slightly too long. I have to admit I did enjoy the bit where Willis is driving on top of the cars in the gridlock (although surely he killed several families in that sequence!!!)
Maybe in two years time, this film won’t seem as bad. Films that are a part of a franchise usually get rescued by the Die Hard marathons from the ‘die hard’ fans (haha, get it?). It’s the same reason I have watched Batman and Robin countless times, without actually enjoying it. I don’t really know what else to say about this film. It simply went through the motions, without putting heart or effort into the movie, and crushed every fan in that cinema. Poor show. Poor show.
Final verdict: An awesome franchise ruined by a shoddy script and weak performances. It’s only redeeming feature is some late action sequences.
Next week: Song for Mari…
No, fuck it! I’m not done. I am tired of defending the franchise to people and hearing critics say that Bruce is too old for this. Because I love Die Hard. Sometimes too much, but I don’t care. Sure, she isn’t the sexy movie I remember from the good old days, but even if she has got old and lost her figure, I still love her. Because that’s what love is. You forgive her flaws and adore her unconditionally. So to all of the critics out there that say that Die Hard is past it, you don’t deserve her. If you can’t love her at her worst, you don’t deserve her at her best.