I am of the opinion that it would have been an excellent idea to pass the “Die Hard” franchise over from John McClane to his daughter Lucy. That would not only have been a fantastic move for an iconic franchise but breathed fresh air in to a stale movie series. Mary Elizabeth Winstead could have proven herself as an action heroine, the series could have revived the idea that females can lead action movies, and we could have visited a brand new character from the McClane legacy who could have brought a bold new angle to the “Die Hard” series. Sadly, casting females in action movies is still considered bold and new. The producers missed out on a golden opportunity to really change the genre as a whole. Instead we’re given this.
Aw, but who wants to see some woman walking around with her ovaries and jiggling everywhere when we can meet John’s bland son “Not Sam Worthington,” anyway? AmIright, fellas? Ain’t no chicks going to ruin “Die Hard” for me. Bruce Willis is doing that on his own. John McClane is now Super McClane, a bonafide Jason Bourne if you add about twenty years. With a slight suspension of disbelief we can buy that Jason Bourne can withstand certain injuries since he was trained and conditioned for most situations. But after seeing John McClane, an average New York Police man suffer no end of torture on a high rise as well as having to step on shards of glass, it’s incredibly ridiculous that he’s able to withstand most injuries. McClane–now a supporting character–goes through so much enormous torture in the movie that should leave him limping, barely able to walk, and mostly likely crippled.
But after his truck is shot and rolls over, he simply falls out coughing, not to mention when he and Not Sam Worthington fall through a construction rig and in to a pile of wood, Super McClane and son walk away with only a few head scratches, able to talk coherently without passing out. It’s absurd, and I don’t know why they turned McClane in to a fantasy hero when his first three misadventures in the series were about a very real man with enormous good luck. If that’s not bad enough, Super McClane spends most of the movie either reminding people how old he is, or being a complete and total prick. He refuses to save people until pushed in to a corner, and spouts a new and incredibly terrible catchphrase “I’m on vacation!”
A blatantly manufactured zinger obviously set to replace the more derogatory “Yippee Ka Yay Motherfucker!” for PG-13 audiences. For most of the film Super McClane really does nothing but moan and whine about this horrible situation, and then follows his son Jack around mocking his life, his profession, his skills as a spy, the fact that he’s a spy and the fact that he’s a fallible human being prone to making mistakes. Because if you ever saw the first three “Die Hard” films, you know McClane never slips up. It’s no wonder Jack wants to shoot his dad when he first sees him. Also there’s about thirty jokes about how old John is. Because that’s always funny, I’m assuming. It’s sad enough Super McClane is now an invulnerable super soldier invincible to pain and injury, but now he’s become a bitter old jerk who never snaps in to action so much as fight because he simply has to.
Because he’s on vacation, after all! Willis walks around with a pout looking sullen that’s supposed to represent… sadness? Regret? Why does he travel to Russia to see Jack if he’s just going to berate and belittle him constantly? And why does John just assume Jack is a hero during the initial break out? What if Jack ended up being a world class terrorist intent on committing genocide? Jack McClane is generic and boring, offering no emotions or idiosyncrasies as well as presenting no humor to anything he’s involved in. He’s merely a plot device the writers fail to flesh in to a complete hero. “A Good Day to Die Hard” is the final nail in the coffin for John McClane, and it’s sad to see not only do the studios not take this character seriously anymore, but that Willis himself seems to hold little esteem for arguably his most iconic role.