A Good Day To Die Hard – Die Hard 5 Now Shooting

Bruce Wilis filming A Good Day To Die Hard
Willis filming in Budapest

Fans of Die Hard should be ironing their sweaty t-shirts and kicking their shoes off making fists with their toes in anticipation of the return of their hero – John McClane is coming back.

If you didn’t know already, the fifth Die Hard film starring Bruce Willis title A Good Day To Die Hard is now shooting and scheduled for release early next year. Bruce Willis is naturally back. Let’s face it, you can’t make a Die Hard film without him. This time Willis’ cop hero teams up with his son Jack McClane to battle bad guys in Russia. The film is being directed by John Moore.

Ok, so if you are at all a regular reader here you know I’m a big Die Hard fan. I wrote a longwinded blog about the entire series years ago and my thoughts on all the films, including my initial reaction about the announcement of Die Hard 5 here.

One of the best summer movie experiences I ever had was sitting in a dark theater in July 1988 watching the original film. Beforehand my friends and I just thought it would be kind of fun to watch the cool guy from Moonlighting in a movie carrying a gun. By the time the film ended we were all blown away after having just watched one of the greatest action films of all time.

So now we’re up to film five. When I first heard rumors about it I admit I was excited. I’m always game for the return of McClane no matter how much I have to suspend my disbelief to accept the premise. But now after shooting has commenced and news coming from the production I’m getting some red flags about this Die Hard and am getting a bad feeling about it.

Jai Courtney and Bruce Willis in A Good Day To Die Hard
Jai Courtney as Jack McClane with his Dad

Again, McClane will be teamed with a partner as they take out bad guys. He’s mainly done this in Die Hard With a Vengeance (Samuel L. Jackson) and Live Free or Die Hard (Justin Long). However, both those characters were not action heroes and were generally panicked passengers along for the ride. Jackson got into the action a bit towards the end, but it was McClane who handled most of the thrilling duties.

Here it seems like it’s going to be more of an action team with McClane and his son. Jack McClane is being played by Jai Courtney and apparently he’s going to be in the same action mold as his dad. Plus, there are rumors that Mary Elizabeth Winstead will make a return appearance as daughter Lucy Gennaro McClane – but I’m guessing that’s going to be a quick two-minute cameo.

Fighting terrorists will be something son Jack handles on a regular basis. According to director Moore “coming face-to-face with international terrorists and bad guys who stay up late at night coming up with clever stuff, is very much a career choice for Jack McClane”.

Is Jack some kind of government agent or something? I’m thinking that might be the case since Moore also described the film as being for “people who get a kick out of the Bourne movies”.

I always get nervous when filmmakers reference other movies when describing their own….it just makes me feel uneasy and it feels they’re grasping at other popular products to sell theirs. Usually after seeing the film and recalling these comparisons that are made during promotions they never match up anyway.

Plus, since when are the Die Hard films like the Bourne movies? I get that McClane is going overseas, but does that mean he has to deal with spies and intrigue?

And I’m worried that his son will get equal action time when I really just want to see his Dad do it all. I don’t want to see Willis get eclipsed by a younger actor who’s there to attract the young demographic to see the movie. No matter how much older he is I’m watching a Die Hard movie for John McClane.

Director John Moore and Bruce Willis on location for Die Hard 5
Director John Moore and Willis on location

The series has taken a real downturn of the talent behind the camera. A lot of credit for the quality of the first film has to goto director John McTiernan. He, along with the other artists, crafted a beautiful, exciting film in an office building. Renny Harlin I thought did a decent job with the action sequences and widened the scope in Die Hard 2. McTiernan returned for Vengeance and utilized the setting of New York City effectively.

Then we got Live Free or Die Hard directed by Len Wisemen, best known for some of those Underworld films and this years Total Recall. There were a few fun scenes, but nothing on the level of McTiernan’s Die Hard work.

Now we get John Moore whose directing credits include Max Payne, the remakes of The Omen and I think one of the worst remakes ever Flight of the Phoenix. Whoa. I had some things to say about that one.

I thought I was worried when Wiseman was announced as director of number four, but that’s nothing compared to how I’m feeling about Moore at the helm of this.

McClane throwing some punches

Despite Moore describing this film as having a huge scale….that statement doesn’t impress me. The film could have this great worldwide, international scope and still suck if not done right. Just because something is big doesn’t mean it will be any good.

He describes having “very big toys” in it. The biggest helicopter in the world, a battalion of tanks, having planes flown in from all over the world, a car chase through Moscow that is taking seventy-eight days to film and a climax that takes place at Chernobyl.

But all that means squat if the guy can’t use it to craft effective sequences that tell an engaging story. You can throw all the toys onscreen you want it still won’t necessarily create an exciting action film. The first film managed to do that by just using an elevator shaft, guns and some bombs.

Nothing – absolutely nothing – on Moore’s resume has given me any confidence he has the talent to make a decent Die Hard film.

A Good Day To Die Hard Bruce Willis on location
Is this Die Hard headed for disaster?

Another thing that has concerned fans is what the rating will be for this fifth installment. Most Die Hard fans want to see an R-rated McClane adventure. This was a sore spot in the PG-13 rated Live Free or Die Hard. A softer, less violent McClane escapade won’t be that welcomed by Hard-ites (is that how we should refer to Die Hard fans?). No one wants to see McClane utter “Yippee Kay Yay…..Mister!”.

As of now there has been no news on what the film will be rated.

Willis has said he wants to end the series with a sixth and final entry. If A Good Day To Die Hard is a major disappointment than maybe he should just stop here. But maybe I should just try to have a little more optimism here. I guess I should at least wait to jump to conclusions until I see some footage.

The film is set for release February 14, 2013. Which is another thing that worries me, February is usually a dumping ground for movies that the studio didn’t feel confident releasing in the fall and want to clear out before summer hits. A Die Hard film should be more of a big summer event, not a flick that will compete with bad romantic comedies on Valentine’s Day.

So, any Die Hard fans have any thoughts about this….

You may also like...

4 Responses

  1. BlogDude says:

    I am in total agreement with you. These films are standalone. They are unique in their own way and to compare them to other films, such as the Bourne movies, is the first mistake. You must make the movie your own and yet at the same time follow the tradition of what has come before in that series. Live Free or Die Hard, even though not in the same field of quality as the first three films, is still a Die Hard film and there is no questioning that. I am glad it was such a hit. However, after reading this blog and seeing how his son is going to be just as important as McClane, I hope to god this won't ruin the series.

    But hey, you never know. I mean, I'm stoked to see this movie. I'm going to check it out, as I'm sure you are, however my expectations will not be that high. The first thing that I was not a fan of, was the title of the film. A Good Day to Die Hard…It just sounds like the film maker picked something out of their ass and just used it for the title. I mean, if they make another film I have fear as to what THAT one will be called. Die Hard Fight Hard?

  2. Hey HaphazardStuff, Robert here or as you may remember me, the Angry Movie Dork. Anyway, I found this link from your Facebook page where I said thanks for posting something about Die Hard 5 as I went to read it. But now that Iv'e heard what you have had to say. I'll respond here. I love the Die Hard movies, the first one is awesome, 2nd one is weaker and I wasn't really into the 3rd one. I actually thought Len Wiseman made the best Die Hard since the first one. Which is very surprising considering his resume. There are some movies that have a property that seem to just work well no matter who the director is. John Moore is a horrible director with no proven talent, but I have my fingers crossed that this film will just miraculously work. I mean the director of the first Piranha hadn't made any good movies, but Piranha 3D was awesome. And the director of the upcoming Dredd reboot hasn't done anything good either but that surprisingly has a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. I don't know why the new Die Hard movies are getting such bad directors though these days. They deserve better. Mission: Impossible has had JJ Abrams and Brad Bird direct some of their movies. They should both direct a Die Hard. I like the idea of switching out directors every film. It keeps the franchise alive, fresh and newly styled. And the new James Bond movies get directors every film which is neat. I'm a little worried that there's no trailer yet. We're like five months away and not even a teaser. What's really crazy, on another note is that that new Spielberg movie Lincoln is like 2 months away and we don't even have a teaser yet. Now that's just odd. Anyway, if Die Hard 5 sucks, I pray they don't stop, they need to make a 6th to end it on a good note. Star Trek V and Rocky V sucked but the sixth one redeemed the franchises. Die Hard 5 should end on a good note.

  3. Marshalsify says:

    HaphazardStuff, Bruce Willis does want to do one final Die Hard movie — Die Hard Enough — before finally hanging that white vest up for good.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On FacebookVisit Us On Google PlusVisit Us On YoutubeCheck Our Feed