It's over folks. This is the death of the Die Hard franchise. Please.
Die Hard has been a guilty pleasure for nearly 20 years, but there's no pleasure in this latest offering.
Loud, unbearably stupid, cartoonishly unbelievable, this movie has the emotional impact of an episode of Thunderbirds, but without the clever plot.
In a nutshell (which is big enough for this plot, with room to spare) Bruce Willis as John McClean tracks down his errant son to Moscow in the usual Hollywood bid to 'reconnect'. There he finds him working as a CIA operative trying to smuggle a vague dissident out of the country. Bruce joins in - as you do. They would have got away, too, if it wasn't for that pesky dissident getting out of the safety of the car and virtually thumbing his nose at the bad guys to make them chase him. There follows a car chase that's so long and stupid that I considered going to get an ice cream. I could have had a three course meal and they'd still have been there, demolition derbying through rush hour. During this chase, a transit van roars through dense traffic jams like a knife through butter, while the armoured car chasing it is forced to bulldoze its way through walls and over cars to keep up, and an RPG rocket is launched at Bruce with the velocity of someone throwing a tennis ball for a dog, giving him plenty of time to steer around it.
Then after many more bullets are dodged - even really fast ones from an Apache helicopter - the pair are captured by a bad guy and about to be executed. Having just slaughtered about two hundred people in half an hour of mindless violence, in this scene the bad guy suddenly slows down and takes time to eat a carrot and emote about a career he might have had in tap dancing, just long enough so that Bruce and Bruce Jr can break free and overwhelm half a dozen heavily armed men with only their distracting giggling and a small knife.
As usual in Die Hard, Bruce remains remains virtually unmarked and limp-free throughout, although his regulation white singlet does get grubbier every time he's blown up/shot at/beaten/thrown off a building/falls through a window. So that, at least, is realistic.
Everything else is not.
Stupid action, stupid dialogue, stupid baddies, stupid plot twists and stupid science. Did you know that radiation that's been 'pooling in here (Chernobyl) for years' can be easily eradicated by a quick squirt of weapons grade Domestos and an iPad? Nor me. Lucky for Bruce, though, as he rushes into the defunct nuclear plant with only his stubble for protection.
Oh, and did I tell you? All this happens in one day - from Bruce's arrival in Moscow, through the mayhem and explosions and the nuclear waste and the drive to Chernobyl, which is apparently in a suburb of Moscow. Oh, and that the drive is made in a car they steal that just happens to have a small arsenal in the boot? Lucky again.
None of it matters, because - surprise surprise - Bruce Jr forgives Bruce for years of neglect and calls him Dad for the first time, and they fly home as heroes in a sunset glow. The fact that they leave Moscow smoking behind them, littered with corpses of innocent bystanders and disappointed film-fans is neither here nor there.
There's a running 'joke' where Bruce keeps yelling 'I'm on vacation!' One can only hope it's a long one.
A Good Day to Die Hard
Action / Crime / Thriller
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Tech specs720p.BLU 1080p.BLU 2160p.WEB.x265
1 hr 38 min