You’d think that by 2013 Hollywood would have figured out that there’s simply no room for the old action films, but apparently somebody actually wanted a “Die Hard 5”. I can think of so many reasons why a fifth Die Hard film was a terrible idea to begin with, and most of them exemplify a central problem – Die Hard as a film franchise was only good for a few meritorious films, and then it hibernated for over a decade, and immediately lost steam as soon as the producers tried reviving it.
Essentially, Die Hard was a film franchise that was huge in the 1980’s, after a while it died and was quickly forgotten, and yet the producers honestly thought they could just bring it back without even trying to make it relevant to a newer generation of cinemagoers. Needless to say, they failed spectacularly, and right from the beginning it’s painfully obvious that they couldn’t hide from that. Even the title sequence tries using trendy graphics to make gullible viewers think that this is a next-generation Die Hard film, but really it’s just a Steven Seagal movie with Bruce Willis filling Seagal’s shoes. Making matters worse is a clearly uninspired story plagued by wildly liberal use of outdated action film clichés, and an extremely frail script. This could be forgiven in a low budget straight-to-DVD production, but for a film intended for cinematic release, there should have been higher standards.
Despite this being a by-the-numbers Die Hard film, the most surprisingly jarring aspect of the film, believe it or not, is how much of an insufferable jerk John McClane became in this film. If you loved him in the classic Die Hard, get ready to hate him as he shouts at a Russian man because he can’t understand what he’s saying. Is that the action hero audiences came to love in the late 1980’s? Also, he and his son are quite horrible to each other, but then again, I highly doubt that any of the actors playing them had any interest in the plot. As for McClane’s son, who is played incompetently by Jai Courtney, his character doesn’t surprise me that much. In fact, one could say that the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree. The other characters simply blend into the background due to bad acting and even worse writing.
Another thing I should talk about is the film’s poor presentation. For a film that apparently needed an excessive $92 million to make, it looks absolutely appalling. There’s a noticeable absence of colour here, to the point that most scenes look like they were coloured with a bad mix of grey and blue. The production values are beyond awful, and it just makes me wonder how the producers spent their money. Did it go towards marketing, makeup, drugs? It seriously begs an explanation, since I find it hard to believe that a project this expensive looks so cheap.
Even the action scenes look badly done, to the point that it’s extremely obvious that the producers were hoping to compensate for a badly written plot with guns and explosions, as if the producers had no idea that 1980’s are long gone. Overall, it’s definitely the worst Die Hard film ever made, but somehow it goes beyond just being that. In fact, I’d say this is undoubtedly one of the worst action films of all time. In fact, we’d probably be better off if the Die Hard franchise would simply stay dead.
- Score: 17%
- Grade: F