‘Die Hard 5’ dies harder than the last one
Published: Monday, February 18, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 16:02
I am a diehard “Die Hard” fan. The first film is one of my all-time favorite movies and the sequels were all very good action movies. I am also a huge Bruce Willis fan. I was very excited for "Die Hard 5,” unlike most sequels. The title is extremely misleading. Rather than a good day to die hard, this is actually a very bad and sad day for what was once of the greatest, most consistent film franchises ever.
The biggest problem is director John Moore. I have no idea how he got involved in this. Someone like Martin Scorsese will never direct “Die Hard 5,” but certainly we could do better than this guy. His filmography is nothing but a reminder to every producer that this man should not be allowed to work. The man who ruined the golden opportunity which was “Max Payne” gave “Die Hard 5” a lousy script. It’s not well written, developed or thought out at all. The directing is even worse and together they make an awful combination. For example, one guy and his daughter keep double crossing everyone. Their motivations are unclear, but when they finally pick a side there’s some strange sexual tension between the two. There were some weird and unintended incest implications.
The film is edited poorly between shots that are corny, blurry or at strange angles. The subtitles come on so fast that they’re impossible to read. The action sequences move so fast between awful angles that it is impossible to follow a sequence and often words don’t match up to moving lips. In a long chase scene, the angles change so fast you can’t follow the chase and it doesn’t even look like the same vehicles or people in different shots or even like it is happening in the same place.
“Die Hard 4” was criticized for killing the “everyman” John McClane character by changing him into some sort of Bruce Willis terminator. Despite this, “Die Hard 4” worked in some weird way. “Die Hard 5” tries to improve on these, but dies hard in its efforts. It’s rated R, but you can’t tell. There was maybe one bloody moment and the rest is just bullets flying and hitting people in a daytime television-censored matter. They say the “f” word but not so often to remind you its rated R. The language isn’t used to make McClane the funny, sarcastic and vulgar pottymouth he was in the first three. The rating is meant to trick fans into seeing this.
McClane isn’t a terminator doing unrealistic things like taking down a fighter plane with his bare hands as he was in the last one, but the action scenes are even more ridiculous. Every scene is the same. They go into some high floor on a building because in Russia, apparently there are no ground level floors. The rooms are filled with lots of glass and windows. There is an explosion before or after a gun fight in which all the glass shatters dramatically and nobody is ever hit. The windows never shatter because each scene ends with Bruce Willis jumping out of a window. Twice, the same helicopter was shooting him as he impossibly jumped by it. Seriously, the plot is advanced again and again by Bruce Willis jumping out of windows. In the final climatic scene, he jumps out of a window for the fifth time, and I began hysterically laughing. Clearly nobody involved in this production took the time to watch it before distributing it or they would have noticed how stupid it looked to see Bruce Willis jump out of a window once every 25 minutes.
After all this, I was still waiting to hear McClane’s infamous punch line but it gets this wrong too. It’s said at not only the wrong moment, but whispered as if they were his last words on his death bed. Why the hell isn’t he screaming this? “Die Hard” 6 will supposedly be the final episode and it should be. My recommendation is bring back Sgt. Al Powell from the first two, Samuel L. Jackson, McClane’s wife, his kids and that’s it. It should go back to L.A. and maybe even the same building as the first one. If done right, it could be nostalgic and actually work. It should be a big epic finale to the series that ties it all together so that there is some continuity. This probably won’t happen and we’ll probably get another one like this, but as a fan of the series I’m looking at $10 less opening night either way.