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Student Review of Die Hard 5

| Movie Review, Student Perspective

     Why would anyone make a film if they clearly don’t care about what they are making? I guess maybe if the money is good enough….but still??? Why do that with such a beloved franchise as Die Hard and why with such a respected American hero as John McClane? This character deserves better than this and so does the franchise….why can’t we just let the poor old bastard die in peace?

     There isn’t much plot here or character development (or script development, come to think of it). In A Good Day to Die Hard, John McClane flies to Russia when he catches wind that his son John Jr. may have gotten himself in a pretty bad situation. Little does John Sr. know, but John Jr. is there on a mission of his own. You see, he’s working as a CIA operative, and he has been sent to Russia to protect a Russian ex-terrorist who has possession of a file that could help lock the REAL baddies up for good. Naturally, John Sr. only manages to mess the whole situation up, and soon teams up with his son to save the day (and then some).
     That’s the plot….pretty flimsy, dontcha think? This is a film that clearly only cares about showing us pretty explosions and high-octane action and to its credit (which I give reluctantly) it does try to show us good scenes of these. Unfortunately, what the people working on this film forgot was that action, explosions, gunplay and perceived danger to our heroes only work if we are invested in the story and the characters, and if we believe them to be in real peril. That’s part of the problem of this film; not once do we ever believe that John Sr. and John Jr. are in any real danger. John McClane has become a super-hero here…a man who literally cannot die and who has lost all sense of fear.
     The film does halfheartedly try to throw us some father/son bonding moments and the like….but don’t let this fool you, AGDTDH is in reality a heartless, brutal film that enjoys showing us complete carnage, people getting squashed by cars, bad guys getting thrown into helicopter blades, vehicles exploding, and other such nonsense.
     AGDTDH is a largely uninspired, weak attempt to cash in on the video-game movie fad. The only ones who seemed to care were the VFX guys who are clearly trying to give us some good quality action scenes, though these fall flat because we are not invested in the story or the characters. AGDTDH is a fundamentally flawed film that will only satisfy the most easily-pleased of audience members.
If this is the future of the Die Hard franchise, I want no part of it. Good day, sir.
~ Daniel “Smalls” Huffman

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