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By Jess Fenton
19th March 2013

It’s been 25 years, and John McClane still won’t die. It’s almost like... it’s hard or something (get it?). In 1988, a blockbuster star was made when McClane (brought to life by Bruce Willis) burst onto the silver screen with a dry wit, bare feet and an innate inability to die whilst saving his wife, her co-workers - and the now infamous Nakatomi Tower - from terrorists. Today, ‘Die Hard’ is considered by some (mostly men) to be one of the greatest Christmas movies of all time. Four subsequent sequels later, it seems John has run out of bad guys to kill, because it’s the franchise's fifth installment ‘A Good Day To Die Hard’ that sees John enter Russia, guns ablazin’, with absolutely no provocation.

McClane Sr’s estranged son, John McClane Jr (AKA Jack), has gotten into some trouble in Moscow, so daddy dearest takes it upon himself travel to Russia and help out. He inadvertently stumbles into the middle of a three-year CIA mission between a political bad guy and a redemptive Russian, both of whom were involved with Chernobyl. John ends up sending a couple of the CIA plans south with his unscheduled visit, and now father and son are reluctantly forced to work together to get the bad guy and save the day.


Boom! Crash! Half naked woman for no reason! Bang! Daddy doesn’t love me! Screech! Screech! You were never there! Smash! Withering stare... Bang! Bang! Double Cross! Woosh! Double Cross! Kablamo! Double Cross! Eek! Reconciliation... BOOM! The end. The story is stupid and dated, fair enough, but there's always the action sequences. Car chases, helicopters, explosions, hand to hand combat, we’ve seen them all. There’s not one lick of finesse or originality anywhere in this movie. Jai Courtney is its only saving grace, making the most of what they gave him, but I gotta tell you, that ain’t much.

Did I miss anything? I’m pretty sure I got everything. Okay, there was one thing that really bugged me: throughout the film, John McClane quips “I’m on vacation!” There are three problems with this line: 1) I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to be funny. It’s not. 2) This line has already been used, with great comedic success, in ‘Beverly Hills Cop’ (1984), and 3) The reason why it’s not funny is because it’s not true. McClane isn’t on vacation. Never was, never intended to be. So why the writer chose to focus on this quip is mind-boggling.

There’s not one lick of finesse or originality anywhere in this movie.

At 58 years old, this may well be John McClane’s last outing - that idea conjures relief as it is so time to call it a day. If you’re not making it better, just don’t make it worse. No one wants to see an icon go out like this. He deserves better - but at the end of 'A Good Day To Die Hard’, you find yourself wishing John McClane wasn’t so damn hard to kill - but at the same time, you kinda love him for it.

RELEASE DATE: 21/03/2013
RUN TIME: 1h 38m
CAST: Bruce Willis - John McClane
Patrick Stewart - Russian General
Jai Courtney - Jack McClane
Cole Hauser
DIRECTOR: John Moore
WRITER: Skip Woods
PRODUCERS: Michael Fottrell
Alex Young
SCORE: Marco Beltrami
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