- Released Internationally on 07/02/13
- Released in Malta by KRS on 06/03/13
Preview (first published 01/02/13 in VIDA Magazine)
It’s hard not to like Bruce Willis, and men should hope they age as well as he has. Now approaching 60, he continues to mix dramatic roles (Moonrise Kingdom) with his famous action ones, and the Die Hard franchise would be unthinkable without him. Just like in the previous outing, Live Free or Die Hard, he has a sidekick this time around (Jai Courtney, who was very effective in the recent Jack Reacher) - but this time it’s all in the family. The action is shifted to Russia for this fifth instalment, so John McClane might need to pack something else besides his usual blood-stained vest.
There are hints of the previous Die Hard films peppered throughout this one - a few bars of Beethoven's 9th, the driving and eventual demolition of heavy vehicles, John McClane’s daughter from the previous film, and of course the bloody vest - but otherwise it plays out like an average action film, albeit with a likeable hero. Bruce Willis has finely honed the art of performing wonderful action heroics whilst always looking bemused and slightly annoyed, giving the impression that he’d rather be elsewhere. The scriptwriters still felt, however, that they had to get him to say he should be on vacation every 25 seconds, which gets tedious.
The traffic carnage is pretty impressive. We’re first introduced to the crippling traffic gridlock in central Moscow, and shortly afterwards McClane and his son proceed to destroy half the cars involved. The bulk of the action then shifts to Chernobyl (where else?), but often tries too hard to be over the top and epic. One shot stood out for the right reasons - a wonderful slow-mo of the Chernobyl sign being chewed up by a helicopter, but a later, climactic scene uses such cringe-worthy CGI that you’ll think you’re playing a computer game.
But I guess it’s reasonably entertaining overall, if you feel like some brainless fun. McClane spends a good third of the film roaming around Chernobyl without protection, so we can look forward to Die Hard with a Third Arm sometime soon.