As the fifth movie in the series and the first one since 2007, this time John McClane is off to Russia to rescue his estranged son, John “Jack” McClane, Jr. after he was arrested for his involvement in an assassination. Upon his arrival in Moscow, before he even arrives at his hotel, the action begins as he is stuck in a traffic jam on his way to see the courthouse where Jack is going to be facing his charges, unaware that the trial has already begun.Jack has agreed to assist the state in their prosecution of Komarov, an enemy of the leader of the Russian government, in return for a lighter sentence, but in reality is using the trial as a way to protect Komarov from government assassins trying to silence him. Komarov has claimed he has a file which would be damaging to the political aspirations of Viktor Chagarin, a corrupt Russian leader and Chagarin has deployed his assassin team to make sure that file is retrieved and destroyed.
Of course, just as his dad is approaching the courthouse on foot due to the immense traffic jam, there is a wall shattering explosion intended to kill Komarov inside the courthouse, but being shielded from the blast by the prisoner witness cell, Jack and Komarov make good their escape as Jack informs Komarov he is there to protect him, not to be against him.Making good their escape by commandeering a van, Jack comes face to face with his dad, who is trying to figure out why the son he came to Moscow to rescue is trying to escape the Russian assassins with the Russian dissident. As Jack continues his getaway being pursued by the Russians, John McClane decides that regardless of their strained relationship, he went to Moscow to help his son, so he begins to race to his assistance in probably the most outrageous car chase scene I’ve ever seen depicted in any movie.
When I’m watching a movie, I try to look for the slightest bit of realism unless the movie is a science fiction, futuristic fantasy, which of course opens the door wide open for anything to happen. But when you have a film taking place today, in the real world, I expect it to have some degree of believability. Watching a total stranger to Moscow commandeering vehicle after vehicle to give chase to his son and the assassins trying to kill him, driving a huge military vehicle off of an overpass down onto the traffic jam below it, and driving across cars, trucks, and vans till he finally gets down to the pavement below is beyond the scope of reality, even for John McClane. He seemingly must have innate GPS because he knows the streets and highways of Moscow like he’s been driving them for years, knowing his way around like an expert. He goes driving the wrong way on a freeway, crashing into vehicle after vehicle as he shoves them aside.
Eventually the plot takes the viewer to Chernobyl, the site of the world’s worst nuclear meltdown in history where the Russians go in wearing radiation haz-mat suits, but the McClanes require no such protection from the radiation. There are numerous explosions of everything from cars and vans to military trucks, helicopters and buildings with non-stop action from start to finish. To escape from an attack helicopters missile assault and gunpower, the father-son duo go diving down a construction chute, freefalling hundreds of feet into a dumpster, and get up and walk away unscathed. SERIOUSLY???The thing that has always made the “Die Hard” series of movies so popular was how you could really see John McClane actually being able to pull off his sometimes ridiculous, but still believable heroic stunts to save the day. But this one just goes too far. Will there be a sixth “Die Hard” movie? Of course there will. The mantle has been passed to the new generation of McClanes with John Jr. played by Jai Courtney. And people will probably go, just to see what heroics the McClanes are up to. Hopefully it will take another 6 or 7 years before we are subjected to it and maybe the next one will return back to the realistic roots that made the “Die Hard” movies so enjoyable.
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