Do We Really Need a 6th Die Hard Flick, or do Old Habits Die Hard?

Bruce Willis recently confirmed that there would be a sixth installment in the franchise, but do we really want another one and is it still Die Hard?


For me, the original Die Hard was a masterpiece in storytelling and a true trend setter for a genre. These days, people will pitch a story with “it’s Die Hard on a plane/train/boat/holiday resort etc etc etc.” I don’t have a problem with this because it immediately gives us a reference point, but is this still the case considering how the franchise has changed over the years?

The first two films were excellent and followed the same plot of a man in the wrong place at the wrong time. It was about the everyman cop who found himself in a situation he had to try and resolve. The third movie was a revenge thriller and also a direct sequel to the first in some ways. This was when the franchise was not only changing the template established by the first two films but also our hero John McClane. No longer was he the cop trying to get his family back, now he was a drunk detective who was on the verge of losing it all. This created a new feel but fans still flocked to the cinema to see it.

Fast forward to many years later and the franchise is reborn/rebooted with Die Hard 4.0 or Live Free or Die Hard as it was called in the US. Here, McClane was a confident man just doing his job with his children all grown up. He was in about as happy place as he could be, all things considered. The issue many people had with this film was the size and scope. McClane was saving the whole of America against a cyber assault but he was still doing it his way and very much old school. Killing a helicopter with a flying police car anyone? Then we get the preposterous scene where John is hanging on the top of an advanced fighter jet. That was where the film lost me… Up until that point I was still invested and going along for the ride. Now, Die Hard was another creature: it was a James Bond/Jack Reacher wannabe.

This year we are treated to a fifth installment called A Good Day to Die Hard or Die Hard 5, if you prefer. Our New York cop is in Moscow where his CIA son is about to take down a serious CIA ring. So we now have CIA spies, Russian terrorists and more explosions than all the previous films combined.

I ask myself: is this still a Die Hard film? Well, yes it is because it has John McClane in it played by Bruce Willis, but the spirit of the original is nowhere to be seen. What we get instead is an expansion of the Die Hard mythology and franchise and we need to accept that this is what we will keep getting now. However this is not a bad thing, because if you take a look at the Fast and Furious franchise they did the same, it evolved from being an illegal car racing story to a full on action heist film. The result is we now have an even better movie. But can the same be said for the Die Hard franchise? I guess we will have to wait and see as it is released this week.

Reporter: Montoya

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