The law of diminishing returns applies itself in a big way to the latest entry of the Die Hard franchise, as the once very real, very human John McClane fought to save his wife from bank-robbers, and has since then saved an airport (Die Hard 2), a city (Die Hard With A Vengeance) and an entire country (Die Hard 4.0). Now our clearly indestructible hero is taking on saving the entire world, and A Good Day To Die Hard has committed a cardinal sin; they've made McClane unlikeable.
Here, Bruce Willis is off to Moscow to save his son, John McClane Jnr. (Jai Courtney), from some trouble that he doesn't fully understand. Once he gets there, both John Snr and John Jnr are dropped right into the deep end, when bad guys attempt to kill them along with Komarov (Sebastian Koch), the only witness to their nefarious plans. The villain's plot is vague at best, involving politicians who seem to want to be international terrorists, with no thought given to any kind of reasoning behind it.
The story plops along like a very bad video game; go here to find a key, shoot bad guys, go here to use the key, shoot bad guys, have moment of understanding with estranged son here, then kill the big helicopter boss. The dialogue is lazy and pointless; with Willis exclaiming "I'm on vacation!" at least ten times throughout the movie's scant running time. Willis himself, always the jewel in even the rougher Die Hard movies, is completely lacking in conviction this time round. When he and Courtney take time-outs in the middle of several massive shoot-outs to have mini-bonding sessions, even the most die-hard of Die Hard fans will struggle to forgive him.
But aside from all of that, the main thing missing from A Good Day To Die Hard is any sense of fun. There are some impressive stunts involved in the opening car chase, and the Chernobyl set climax rounds things off with some good explosions, but the entire film has a dead-eyed delivery that will make it impossible for anyone to really enjoy. 2013's first major disappointment has arrived.