film critic Paul Byrnes compared
the series to the John Wayne movies of old, with a modern cowboy in
to defend the wealth of the American homeland.
don't believe the series has
strayed into jingoism before as overtly as it does here. This is the
movie set outside the US and John and his grownup son Jack (Australian
Courtney) face off against the Russians, including a father and his own
Guess who comes out on top and learns they love spending time together
bonding through murder is
outright offensive. John and Jack comfortably mow down hordes of evil
but afterwards talk about why Jack doesn't call him dad anymore. Some
cringing banter isn't meant to be
funny so there's no irony or logic in how these characters behave.
filmmakers also felt the
Cold War tensions had any contemporary relevancy we will never know.
it takes a villain to announce: "Reagan is dead". It's the most
authentic line in the movie.
John Moore's last film four
years ago was the dire Max Payne.
He's made a hash of this movie too, treating it every bit like a video
The film runs thirty minutes shorter than the other films and it's by
thinnest in the series.
action sequences, overcut and
edited, have been stretched to excruciating lengths, as though the
thought we couldn't handle a moment of plotting. There is no narrative
structure to speak of, or any backstory, only lazy exposition to create
links between each setpiece and stunt.
action itself is laughable. Remember
the iconic scene where McClane picked broken glass out of his feet?
like a ragdoll or a comic book character now. He seems immune to glass,
of jumping through windows unharmed.
fireproof, surviving an
exploding room, with flames edging so close they could singe the top of
head, and shock absorbent, walking away from two violent car crashes.
the tension if the main characters are immune to everything thrown at
miniscule plot runs accordingly:
Russian prisoner Yuri (Sebastian Koch) is incriminated by corrupt
politician Viktor Chagarin
(Sergei Kolesnikov) and is set to be tried in Moscow. Meanwhile,
Jack, who has been in the CIA for three years, is also
for an attempted assassination.
learns that his son is in
trouble and travels to Russia to find him. An explosion is triggered
courthouse and Jack helps Yuri escape. Meeting up with John, they hurry
a file that could lead to Viktor's downfall.
opening of the film feels the steadiest
but is still extremely incoherent. How exactly did Jack join the CIA
was he trying to assassinate? Once John finds his son the wheels come
badly. There's no humanity or feeling provided by either Willis or
Courtney. They're treated like tokens, trapped in a video game that is
posturing as a movie. The longer this goes on the worse it gets.