Bruce Willis has always been John McClane. If you’re a film enthusiast, the Die Hard films are the template for the action film. And the template has remained the same throughout.
Australian actor Jai Courtney stars as John McClane Jnr (Jack) in this fifth instalment of what surely has become one of Hollywood’s most enduring franchises.
This is an intense thrill-ride of an action thriller but at its heart it’s a father and son film, and a pretty good one at that.
Courtney and Willis make an unbeatable combination and the film quickly sets up a storyline that has McClane going to Russia at the behest of his daughter to bring back his son, who has seemingly got himself into some hot water with the law.
As is the case in all the Die Hard films, McClane has no idea just how deep in trouble his son is and quickly becomes embroiled in the action. He is unaware that Jack is deep undercover trying to crack a case that threatens the security of the free world and, when he inadvertently blows his cover, the sparks fly between father and son.
In between shooting bullets, car chases and some truly breathtaking action set pieces, the film has the pair of McClanes healing the father/son rift.
As with previous films, there are some genuine moments of humour as father and son wisecrack their way through some sticky situations.
Now with a grown son and daughter, John must come to terms with a career spent as an absent Dad and the film cleverly sets up many new directions for the popular franchise to go.
Courtney’s Jack has an excellent story to spring from as the estranged son of John and does an excellent job as the latest member of the McClane family to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Courtney has the swagger and the wise-cracks to more than equal Willis’ career defining role.
Far from outstaying its welcome, the film is tight and snappy with some of the best car chases and explosive set pieces you will most likely see this year.
First published in Insights Magazine