Reviewed by Alicia Glass
Studio: 20th Century Fox Film
MPAA Rating: R
Director: John Moore
Review Rating: 7
The unkillable Detective John McClane is back, traveling to Russia to rescue his estranged son who’s been arrested for murder!
It’s…okay? There seems to be this ongoing trend, since they insist on making yet more Die Hard movies, to include the young element in there to make sure younger generation fans are targeted and hopefully can enjoy the carnage. This seems unfair to those of us who’ve been fans of Die Hard since the beginning, even though yes the first film came out before a lot of us (Moxie’s readers and such) were double-digit aged. McClane always gets his man, always blows up everything in sight, and yes, always gets at least a few grand one-liners. With #2 being the obvious exception, the DH films have also become known for a seriously classy string of villains. This latest opus is unfortunately lacking a lot of these things.
We begin with McClane’s estranged son Jack. Off in Moscow, Jack is involved in some seriously shady doings involving the Russian mafia, apparently, and when he gets landed in jail for an attempted murder of course McClane Sr. gets wind of it and goes to save his son. He keeps protesting he’s on vacation, which to my mind rings of The Fifth Element (a more fun film by far), but that’s really neither here nor there. John makes it to the courthouse where Jr. is being arraigned just in time to see it blowed up, and Jack escapes with Russian witness Komarov to try and get a lift out of the country by, you guessed it, the CIA. Of course McClane’s estranged son works for the CIA, do we expect any less? The file that everyone’s chasing that only Komarov knows where it is, purportedly has to do with Chernoble of all things, so amidst explosions and betrayals and hails of bullets, that where the McClane boys head. The final showdown is very Die Hard, which is to say highly unlikely logistics-wise, but that’s what makes it so fun and action packed and explosive. Sadly there is no one major villain with awesome lines, most of the time the villains speak in Russian and of course it’s subtitled, but lacks the flair of the previous DH films. The McClane boys do get a few good scenes in together, where they studiously avoid speaking of the past and lovingly take verbal pot-shots at eachother as only the McClanes can, but that is about it.
At the very least, the main cast is held the same, and for that we can mostly be grateful. John McClane, still a badass despite being rather old for this sh*t at this point, is still Bruce Willis, yay. Jai Courtney is Jack McClane, he does a perfectly serviceable job for the sadly semi-generic role he was given. Sebastian Koch is Komarov, he does do a remarkable job at the separate personalities gig. And Lucy McClane is still Mary Elizabeth Winstead, whom you might recall from Live Free or Die Hard. In all, a rather uneeded new Die Hard film, lacking the snark of the previous films, but hey still fun to watch things blow sky high!