It’s not uncommon to see franchises spinning out sequels to just about anything these days, which is quite unfortunate and I don’t think I need to explain why. However every once in awhile a decent one shows up, not necessarily better than the last or the original, but entertaining to say the least. Being a big fan of the “Die Hard” series it was hard to turn down the chance to see “A Good Day to Die Hard”…so I didn’t. I said “Yippee Ki-Yay”. Well actually, I just said “Sure, why not.”
If you haven’t seen the “Die Hard” films, I apologize as they are rather essential 80’s and 90’s action flicks, not to mention Bruce Willis at his very best. So when “Live Free or Die Hard” came out several years ago, that was kind of “our” generation’s version. Now depending on who you ask, they may tell you that it was incredibly terrible and not at all an homage to the great action prequels. Or they may tell you that it was an excellent revamp to the series and a fresh way to keep it going. You could find me in the latter. So several years later when this new addition came out I, while feeling that Willis may be starting to get a tad old, still had to see it if not out of principle. I’ve got to say, it did exactly what movies are meant to do; entertain. The plot was simple enough to follow and it had exactly what I wanted it to have, including tons of explosions. Were parts of it unbelievable? Sure. Was his catch-phrase forced and “meh” worthy? Of course. Was it balls to the wall, action-packed, ass-kickery? Duh.
The basic outline of each “Die Hard” film is that John McClane (Willis) always finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. This film is probably the most pin-pointed example of that seeing as he winds up in Russia. The movie starts with a few clips of some guy shooting another guy in a Russian club and then getting sent to prison. Then we flash back to New York where McClane is then told the plot to his own movie; get to Russia and get your son (newcomer Jai Courtney) out of trouble. Already this is a solid connector to the original trilogy since it’s mentioned several times that he has kids, and Lucy McClane (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) was a central character in the last installment. So John heads to Russia, and within minutes things are already blowing up, as they should be. The story takes off from there and of course it gets a little far-fetched near the end, but who sees a “Die Hard” movie for the story? I read some of the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes before going to see it, and I couldn’t understand why so many reviewers were panning the lack of “story” and how many plot-holes there seemed to be. If you want story, go see “Avatar”, or “Dances with Wolves”, or “Fern Gully”…wait…
I apologize but this is going to turn into a bit of a rant real quick. People need to stop seeing movies, expecting to get something enlightening from each one they go to. In the olden days movies were made to entertain, and that was it. I will admit that some educate, but that’s rare as “based on a true story” means pretty much nothing nowadays. “A Good Day to Die Hard”, actually the whole series for that matter, is there to entertain us with explosions, awesome gun fights, and the most American hero we have on the big screen. When the movie ended I felt like just like I had after walking out of “Live Free or Die Hard”, and that one had Bruce Willis “tap-dancing on a jet” (quoted from my good friend Joey, who if memory serves didn’t really enjoy it). Point is folks, don’t get caught up in “Oh I don’t know, I think my Jane Austen book will be more ‘realistic'” train of thought. John McClane is back and is still solid in my book, despite what the the other reviewers say. Do yourself, and America, a favor and go see Bruce Willis do what he does best.
DIRECTOR’S CUT: Even if this was somehow rated PG-13 like the last one, it still would have been pretty awesome. And the highway chase scene in the beginning is totally worth it.
FLICKCHART RATING: 1013/1992