Three things make a good “Die Hard” movie: a villain that hates America, an excess of violence, and a refusal to roll over and die. Really, what else is there? A “Good Day to Die Hard” provides all of those things in plenty.
Those pesky Russians reappear in the fifth movie of the series, ready to take over the free world with a cunning and complicated terrorist plot…Not if the McClane family has anything to say about it. That’s right, another of McClane’s offspring joins the fight against tyranny. His son, Jack (or John, Jr.) is a CIA agent deep undercover in Moscow. Jack is arrested by authorities, and when McClain Sr. finds out, he takes a “vacation” to Russia to help his estranged son.
As the story progresses, it appears that McClane and his son didn’t spend enough time together during Junior’s childhood. Now Jack is a CIA field agent who holds a grudge against his father, and John is a pissed off old cop who hates Russians. This family really needs sit down and talk things out. This stressed father-son relationship is about all the sentiment you’ll be able to squeeze from the movie. Luckily, the McClane’s find a convenient way to channel their anger for each other by, you guessed it, killing Russians. What a wholesome, American way to bond with your father. Oh and don’t worry, the writers explain away the fact that we’ve never heard of a son with a few extra lines of dialogue.
True “Die Hard” fans will love that director John Moore decided to revert back to the R rating of the first movies. This allows our foul mouthed and rather violent protagonist much more freedom in the film. While the last “Die Hard” movie was directed toward a broader audience, “A Good Day to Die Hard” brings it back to the true Die Hard fans. Where “Live Free or Die Hard” had a lighter feel, “A Good Day to Die Hard” brings back the darker, more graphic style of the original. Part of this is due to the directing style of John Moore. The film is gritty and dirty, with fewer stabilized shots, and a more modern, hands on approach to the action sequences.
If you want to single handedly bring down a terrorist plot through sheer grit and a refusal to die, then “A Good Day to Die Hard” is the movie for you. . If you want to survive the impossible, only to laugh in your enemy’s face, then go no further. Oh yeah, and if you’re thinking about seeing this as a Valentine’s Day date movie, forget it. That is, unless you both hate romance.