I have to say this is looking a little bit more like “Die Hard” now.
I still think it’s just plain weird to have built a franchise around John McClane, but I get the reason that most fans want more of something they like. McClane’s great in the first film for two totally different reasons. First, he’s great because he’s a normal person who has to figure out how to stay alive and save his wife against armed, organized overwhelming odds, and that resourcefulness and fortitude make him heroic. Second, he’s great because he knows exactly how to mouth off in a way that makes Hans Gruber mental, and that is just plain fun to watch.
That sense of “wrong place, wrong time” is a big part of that first film, and it’s one of the things that makes McClane a real hero. He’s not doing a specific job he’s being paid to do. He just ended up in a position to be the one person who can disrupt this thing that’s happening, and so he does it. The idea of him being trapped inside the building with the thieves was definitely one of the things that was most vigorously imitated by others, enough that you could pitch a movie as “‘Die Hard’ in a fill-in-the-blank” game of “Mad Libs” for years afterwards, but I don’t think the contained space is what people who go see “Die Hard” sequels want.
I think McClane’s ultimate appeal comes from that moment that has to work in each of these movies where he realizes he’s the one person who can do something that matters, and he decides to do it. And this new international trailer for “A Good Day To Die Hard” looks like it has that moment in the trailer. The hook of course is that his son (Jai Courtney) is now the hinge that the movie is built on, and we also get a quick glimpse of Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Lucy, his daughter from the last film. I do like that McClane has aged, and that the little kids from the first film are adults. Action heroes are rarely allowed to age, and the world is definitely wearing on McClane over time, although I will admit that I wish I was aging half as well as Willis, who looks 40, and in better shape than I will ever be.
I’m still skeptical about John Moore as director, but this trailer feels like a step in the right direction for me. What did you think?
“A Good Day To Die Hard” opens February 14, 2013.