Reviewer’s Rating: ★★1/2
“A Good Day to Die Hard,” the newest sequel to the action-junkie’s favorite series, “Die Hard,” opened in theaters on Valentine’s Day. However, this is probably not the movie for couples who want to cozy up for a romantic night out. It is action-packed, relatively plotless and stars the ever-present, ever-impressive king of the action movie Bruce Willis.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, old-as-dirt Bruce Willis returns as equally old-as-dirt John McClane. In the latest (and possible final) “Die Hard,” McClane finds out that his son -- who he thinks of as a huge disappointment -- has gotten mixed up with the wrong people in Russia. McClane flies to Russia for a “vacation” so he can check on his son Jack (Jai Courtney) and attempt to get him out of trouble. Little does McClane know, Jack is a CIA agent desperately working to stop the Russian bad guys.
When McClane swoops in to save the day, he inadvertently wrecks Jack’s mission, which sends the father and son team on a high-speed, adrenaline-pumping adventure to save the world.
“A Good Day to Die Hard” has one of the most complicated plot lines in the series. Unfortunately -- or maybe fortunately -- the plot never seems to surface under the barrage of guns and explosions. The originality of the careful, cerebral action hero of the first few “Die Hard” movies is not what McClane represents in the newest installment. There is very little thinking or CIA style investigating, but rather a rampage of gun-slinging violence.
The attempt to recreate a catch phrase like the “Yippee ki yay” fell flat. McClane also kept yelling about being on vacation. Though it was rather amusing, it made no sense, since he really wasn’t on vacation, but went to Russia with the express purpose of getting Jack out of trouble.
The villains in the film were quite lackluster to say the least. The heartless evil that poured out in Alan Rickman’s sweat in the first film was completely nonexistent. It was hard to hate the bad guys because, again, they could not really compete with the nonstop action.
Plot points aside, the action was to die for! The McClanes truly have nine lives; they fell off so many buildings and dodged so many bullets that it is apparent that they are part cat. The action was very fast-paced and exciting, but not so much so that it was hard to tell what was going on. The first car chase of the movie was spectacular, with plenty of explosions and cars rolling to feed the need of the depraved action fan.
Those looking for the awesomeness of “Die Hard” to be reborn will most likely be disappointed with “A Good Day to Die Hard.” The action lives up to expectations, but the rest of the movie falls far short.