San Antonio.- Bruce Willis as "John McClane" and Jai Courtney as his son "Jack McClane." (Courtesy photo)
Covo & Ayotte’s take on “A Good Day to Die Hard”:
Yippee ki yay Mother Russia…“A Good Day to Die Hard” could easily be the blueprint for what a fifth installment of any movie series should aspire to be. The flick is pure action and unadulterated fun on adrenaline.
The plot matters little in the face of amazing car chase sequences, blazing guns and magnificent explosions – suffice to know it’s a good vs. evil theme - and our guys are the good guys. Director John Moore (Max Payne) gets it and doesn’t reinvent the wheel – he just gives fans what they want.
Watching this film there are moments that feel comfortably familiar, like revisiting a band you grew up watching as a kid 20 years later - and getting another chance to enjoy tunes that inspired and shaped your youth. Moore doesn’t hold out and gives fans a heaping dose of Bruce Willis’ uber-popular character John McClane.
McClane (Willis) first appeared in the 1988 classic “Die Hard” and the rugged cop carried the “Die Hard” franchise to a successful sequel in 1990 (“Die Hard 2”), followed by a third in 1995 (“Die Hard: With a Vengeance”). A dozen years later, McClane returned for a fourth installment in “Live Free or Die Hard.” Willis branded action adventure with this character and this franchise – he was Jason Statham before Jason Statham was Jason Statham.
In part five, “A Good Day to Die Hard,” McClane travels to Russia, and the twist that could actually end up reenergizing the series (the set up for number 6 was pretty clear) is the introduction of McClane’s grown son Jack, played by Jai Courtney (“Jack Reacher”). When Jack’s troubles start to unravel, McClane is there for him no matter what the circumstance and together, the newly minted partners take the action to an even higher level of nonstop action. Nothing is off limits, no piece of equipment is too big and no drop is too steep. Some scenes are a bit overboard, but it works anyway.
Courtney deserves another mention because he performs well alongside Willis and the two have convincing chemistry on the silver screen. With this performance, Courtney proves he can handle more action roles in big budget action flicks.
Thankfully, the film is uncomplicated by any sappy love stories, which makes it easier to enjoy the action. And while at times the story seems a little weak, it’s actually just simple.
Punctuated by some funny moments and light banter, “A Good Day to Die Hard” is rated “R” and manages to pack everything into 97 minutes. We happily recommend this film to any Willis, “Die Hard” or action adventure film fans.