Willis Proves it’s Not a Good Day to ‘Die Hard’

Nathan Fisher

Illustration by Emily Jones
Illustration by Emily Jones

Disclaimer: I am a HUGE “Die Hard” fan, and in my book, Bruce Willis is THE MAN.  Needless to say, for months I’ve been anticipating Valentine’s Day, not for the sugar high or the “love is in the air” feeling, but for the premier of “A Good Day to Die Hard,” the fifth installment of one of my favorite franchises.

After a marathon viewing of Bruce Willis aging during the previous 25-year span of the “Die Hard” movies, I was primed and ready. I drove a carload of my buddies to Pasco for opening night. Sadly, my main man Bruce let me down.

The central figure in all the “Die Hard” movies is John McClane (Bruce Willis), a smart-ass New York cop who always finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time and needs to save the world from the bad guys. In “A Good Day to Die Hard,” McClane, our foul-mouthed reluctant hero, leaves the comforts of the US of A and heads to Russia. In the past “episodes,” the bad guys come to our shores from distant lands, but in this new twist, McClane heads to the land of the Russkis to try and reconnect with his son, Jack (Jai Courtney).

Jack, however, is on an undercover mission for the CIA, and dear old dad coming to town blows the mission. The plot is not worthy of description; suffice it to say that destruction and mayhem ensue as John and Jack are forced to team up to fight and kill the bad guys to save the mission and prevent a nuclear war.

Unfortunately, “A Good Day to Die Hard” is the weakest movie of the five. What made the first four movies great was the trifecta of action, sinister villains (Alan Rickman was my fav!) and witty dialogue. Unfortunately, “A Good Day to Die Hard” sheds the latter two elements and leaves us with an hour and a half of pretty cool bullets and explosions, but that’s it. As a straight-up action flick, the movie was enjoyable, but a movie with the “Die Hard” stamp and Bruce Willis needs not only action but badass villains and smart-ass dialogue.

“A Good Day to Die Hard” attempts to introduce feelings and emotions into the “Die Hard” shtick, but Bruce Willis smirking and having heart-to-heart chats with his son falls flat and was a huge disappointment. “Die Hard” movies are about testosterone, not estrogen. Maybe it’s time for Officer McClane to retire … all I do know is, “yippee-ki-yay, mother [email protected]#ker” morphed into “yippee-ki-yay, mamma mia!” Bummer. 2.5/5 stars