What surprises me most about the latest trailer for “A Good Day To Die Hard” is that it actually looks like director John Moore has finally grown a sense of visual style.
Moore has been an in-house favorite for Fox for a while, but I don’t get it. “Behind Enemy Lines,” “Flight of the Phoenix,” “The Omen,” and especially “Max Payne” are all borderline unwatchable, and he seems positively ham-handed when it comes to performance and text. It’s not enough to occasionally nail a pretty picture, and I’d argue that even in that department, he’s seemed deficient so far.
This new trailer for the fifth “Die Hard” film is probably the longest coherent piece of film to ever have Moore’s name attached to it, which is incredibly encouraging. I think this is actually a pretty tremendous trailer overall. Jai Courtney handled himself well in “Jack Reacher,” and I like the chemistry between him and Bruce Willis in the quick glimpses we see here. By the time most series reach a fifth film in a series, the juice is long since gone, but “Fast Five” absolutely revitalized that series, so it is possible.
This also seems to be a “Die Hard” sequel that acknowledges just how preposterous it is that John McClane continues to find himself in these situations. When it’s James Bond, we understand as an audience that he is given these missions because he is the person most qualified to handle them. When it’s the Impossible Missions team, same thing… they are assigned a task, and we watch them tackle it. With McClane, though, it’s all about coincidence and bad timing and dumb luck, and each sequel pushes that level of incredulity just a little bit further. I thought the last film did a really weak job of dealing with that, treating McClane like a superhero. Here, it looks like McClane is visiting his son in Russia, and it’s because of his son that he ends up entangled in the situation. That’s all I ask… just a nod to the underlying premise, something that helps me swallow the impossibility.
There are some great big action images in the trailer, and that last bit in particular with the McClanes falling, is all kinds of cool. It looks to me like we’ve got a lot of fun in store when “A Good Day To Die Hard” hits theaters on February 14, 2013.