As even one of the thugs in the tired, monotonous, and generally unnecessary A Good Day to Die Hard notes, this isn’t the ’80s anymore.
And this fifth installment of the Die Hard franchise, which is now 25 years old, has none of the fresh wallop of the first one. There’s plenty of the old full-auto gunfire, incendiary interjections, and crashy-bashy automotive tumult; but director John Moore—whose last film was the 2008 video-game dud Max Payne—can’t seem to shape much of this into coherent scenes, or to impart anything like a rousing pace to the action. The movie is basically one long stretch of maximum noise and flying debris, with occasional time-outs to indulge a soupy sorrows-of-fatherhood motif that all but demands audience mockery.
Bruce Willis once again plays John McClane, the New York cop (now ex-) who keeps getting drawn into battle with international terrorists. This time he’s off to Moscow, where his estranged son, Jack (Jai Courtney), has been arrested and suddenly become a witness for the prosecution in the trial of a noble political prisoner named Yuri Komarov (Sebastian Koch, of The Lives of Others).
As it happens, Komarov is in possession of an incriminating file that is urgently coveted by a big-time bad guy named Viktor (Sergey Kolesnikov), and by the American CIA as well. And as it further turns out, Jack is actually a CIA agent who has been assigned to rescue Yuri, secure the file, and at the same time—at Yuri’s insistence—reunite the old man with his beautiful daughter, Irina (Yuliya Snigir), as well.
Read the full review at Reason.com