Starring Bruce Willis and Jai Courtney. Rated 14A.
For those of you still bothering to keep score, A Good Day to Die Hard is the fifth movie featuring Bruce Willis as Det. John McClane. Over the years, the indestructible McClane has dodged more bullets than a moving target at a Texas firing range. This time around, he travels to Moscow to bail out his troublesome son (Jai Courtney).
Things heat up fast after McClane learns that his estranged son works for the CIA. It would be unfair to reveal much of the plot. Let’s just say that McClane and his kid find themselves protecting a Russian millionaire (Sebastian Koch) from a corrupt politician. They travel through an endless landscape of bad tailoring and clunky cellphones while brooding bad guys try to kill them.
None of the increasingly bloated sequels can come close to matching the first outing for genuine suspense. But Willis, who manages to keep his trademark smirk on simmer, can still be a lot of fun to watch. Director John Moore makes a worthy attempt to toughen things up here. Compared to the last sputtering effort in the series, the plot seems a tad less flabby and predictable.
The over-the-top action—including a brazenly extended car chase through the streets of Moscow—never lets up. In fact, if you’re not into constant explosions, it’s almost enough to give you a headache. Are there any concessions to realism? Not really. This is the kind of movie where people bleed profusely but don’t bother stopping for so much as an aspirin.
The script attempts a few heartwarming father-son moments between bursts of machine-gun fire. They come across as forced and a bit embarrassing, but, if nothing else, they’re a brief respite from things that go boom.