Review: A Good Day to Die Hard

Michael Moccio ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff

Bruce Willis and Jai Courtney star in the fifth installment of the "Die Hard" franchise, "A Good Day to Die Hard" hitting theaters Feb. 14. © 2012 - Twentieth Century Fox.
Bruce Willis and Jai Courtney star in the fifth installment of the “Die Hard” franchise, “A Good Day to Die Hard” hitting theaters Feb. 14. © 2012 – Twentieth Century Fox.
Not many movie series can effectively keep their momentum past their initial success, and Die Hard is not one of those series. February 14th marks both Valentine’s Day and the release of A Good Day to Die Hard; from one movie-goer to another, this is not the Valentine’s Day date you’re looking for. Although fulfilling its role as an enjoyable action flick, A Good Day to Die Hard boasts nothing more than three high packed action scenes, an admittedly nice plot twist, and a cliché reunion between an estranged father and his son.
The plot revolves around John McClane Jr. aka Jack (Jai Courtney) attempting to stop what appears to be a conspiracy surrounding one of the people responsible for the Chernobyl  Disaster. John McClane (Bruce Willis) is called to action when he receives news that his son has been detained and “would be lucky to get life”. The plot is nothing new or innovative, but serves its purpose to create situations where the McClane boys resort to violence to solve their problems. Not that fast car chases and exploding helicopters aren’t interesting, but it gets old after seeing it done a thousand times before.
The film had a couple of moments that deserve recognition. Two humorous moments that stood out were the taxi scene and the hugging scene. In the former, John McClane fails miserably while trying to talk in Russian and thus ensues a humorous interaction between him and the driver; in the latter, John and Jack look on as their target and his daughter hug and John turns to Jack asking if he wants a hug, to which Jack replies “We’re not a hugging family”. The film also shows a great change in McClane’s character—originally, he was an impressive force to behold; now he’s an impressive force that takes the time to remind Jack that he’s “not done talking yet”.
Overall, however, the movie lacks an interesting plot, which detracts the viewer from a truly enjoyable experience. The Chernobyl Disaster has also been done before, and it doesn’t really add to the plot in any way, shape or form. The antagonist of the movie isn’t fully revealed until halfway through the movie and, while this plot twist was clever, at the end it felt unsatisfying because the film had to lie to us for the first hour. All things considered, A Good Day to Die Hard deserves a 5/10: good to see if you have nothing to do, but nothing to write home about.

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