Worst to First: Ranking the Die Hard movies
Before Fast And Furious or Michael Bay came along the original Die Hard set the standard for the action movie genre. It also introduced us to Bruce Willis as police officer John McClane, an everyman hero who stood in stark contrast to the muscle-bound action stars of the time. Although the series and the character are beloved, most of the Die Hard movies are really not all that great. Of them all, one stands as a classic, one’s pretty good, two are just okay and one’s quite awful. Let’s rank ’em and see which is which.
5. A Good Day To Die Hard (2013)
Summary: When McClane’s son, CIA operative Jack (Jai Courtney), is arrested in Russia, McClane goes to free him. Jack breaks out of prison and teams up with his estranged dad to take on some villains who are in pursuit of super weapons.
What’s Good: McClane is fighting for a loved one. The character is always at his best when he’s protecting family. The action sequences are frequent and intense. The action sequences are well-staged. Director John Moore knows how to film an action-packed setpiece. After a brief forray into PG-13 territory, Die Hard 5 was allowed to return to an R-rating.
What’s Bad: Where to begin? The story line makes very little sense, the villain is a disappointment, the interactions between McClane and Jack don’t work too well and McClane comes off more like a superhero than the ordinary man caught up in extraordinary situations. Making McClane a superhero removes the core of what made the first Die Hard special. In some of the later films, the only thing that distinguishes them from any other Bruce Willis movie is the character’s name and the title.
Verdict: It’s by far the worst in the series, no question. But as bad as it is, I can think of 20 movies that were far worse. With expectations set appropriately low for the fifth installment in an ancient action series, A Good Day to Die Hard didn’t upset me like some other sequels I have seen (Alien 3 for instance). The good thing is that it’s easy enough to ignore A Good Day To Die Hard as it’s self-contained and not an essential part of the franchise.