As you have probably noticed, here at Cinema Blend we love Die Hard. In anticipation for the action franchise's latest offering, we've been revisiting its earlier sequels, and fiercely fighting over which of the franchise was the best and worst. But no one on our team was quite as eager to see the fifth installment of this series than Kristy and Sean.
Sean had been devotedly covering the film's development for months, while Kristy was wholeheartedly trusting that Bruce Willis being on board meant this movie would be a blast. Since seeing A Good Day To Die Hard both have changed their tune. In his review, Sean called it "silly, incoherent and cartoonish to a fault." For her part, Kristy's disappointment was so crushing that she had a meltdown only GIFs could properly depict. Yet when it comes to whether we should hope for a Die Hard 6, they found themselves ready to spar in a Great Debate.
Kristy: So Sean, you and I agreed that A Good Day to Die Hard was basically a disaster. But at the end of your review, you admitted you'd be up for seeing John McClane return in Die Hard 6. Can you tell me why?
Sean: You mean besides the fact that I'm clearly a glutton for punishment?
Kristy: Yes. Besides that!
Sean: Because I think the mistakes of the franchise largely can be chalked up to the directors who've helmed the sequels, and I'm not ready to give up on McClane, as a hero. I still believe that Willis remembers how to play the sarcastic antagonist who powered the first three films. There was a lot of that humor in the third one. But the audience (and the critics) largely are rebelling against Superhero McClane, who is invincible instead of relatable. He's not an everyman anymore ... but he can be. And I'm ready to believe that with the right director (and, yes, a better script,) the franchise can end on a better note. Are you completely done with McClane in any format or fashion?
Kristy: I really fear I am. And that's not something I imagined would be true even a week ago. But you mention that John McClane has evolved from a scrappy, hard-to-kill everyman to essentially an invincible superhero with a bluecollar. It's veered so far away from what made the character compelling to begin with that I think we've gone too far to find our way back.
Sean: And you are right that, in part, Bruce Willis deserves the blame for this. Die Hard, obviously, is his signature franchise. I wrote in my review that I hate what he has allowed the character to become. But -- and I recently Tweeted this -- if the news broke months from now that Willis listened to the historic pans of A Good Day and appealed to his Looper director Rian Johnson to help him craft a cunning detective noir that returned McClane to glory, I would be right back on this bandwagon. Wouldn't you?
Kristy: I really admire Rian Johnson as a filmmaker, and I deeply enjoyed Looper, but I think Die Hard is too far gone. Part of the reason is that despite how critics have come out and panned this movie almost across the board, I suspect it will have a healthy if not sensational box office. There will be no reason to radically reconsider the way these movies have been working if Bruce Willis's involvement and the name John McClane are enough to attract audiences. But the more I see McClane, the more his personal story depresses me. I mean, it's been five movies now. And each time we're shown a bit more of what a terrible family man he is outside of his heroics. It's become so much that it's made him a tragic figure instead of just a flawed one.
Sean: Hard to argue that point. I often felt a deep loathing for McClane during this one. I mean, he punches an innocent Russian civilian and insults him, and we're supposed to cheer that on? Why? And he doesn't seem interested in stopping bad guys, or even protecting his son. He's really just interested in scenarios that let him kill. It's really depressing. And listen, I'm not saying that I want them to keep going, because it's 90% possible we'll get another A Good Day to Die Hard, and a 10% chance that we'll get something closer in tone and execution to the original. At the same time, I do NOT want it to end this way. I really want our hero to get a proper, worthy sendoff. And this ain't it.
Kristy: That makes sense to me. And that's actually something I would like to see. I hadn't realized it until you said it. But yes, I want to see John McClane's epilogue. I want to see him save the day one last time, then get his reward, which I'd hope would be a happy homelife with Holly.
Sean: Did you not think there was a PERFECT opportunity to bring Bedilia back in this movie? I won't say when, so as not to spoil, but I felt convinced that they were going to surprise us, and she'd be standing there. It wouldn't have saved the film. But it might have been cool.
Kristy: I don't get why they've sidelined Holly so completely. McClane's dynamic with her in the first one was compelling. The dyanmic with his kids can't compete. Man, I hated his son, Jack McClane. If he were to be in 6, count me out completely.
Kristy: But you've won me over on the idea of a Die Hard 6 IF it is meant to be the final one. It could dig back into the first movie's cowboy roots, and give us something that has emotional weight, laughs, and some edge of your seat action.
Sean: Exactly. And when they announce that Brett Ratner has been hired, we can cry on each other's shoulders and mourn the hero we used to love.
Kristy: That possibility literally makes me sick to my stomach. John McClane deserves better. And so do we (the fans). Actually, I think there should be a Die Hard 6 to make up for Die Hard 5. Give us McClane, down but not out. Show us him saving the day, and then have him limp off into the sunset with Holly. That's about the only circumstance I'd want to see at this point.
Sean: We agree! My work here is done. What franchise can we save next, Kristy? Beverly Hills Cop? The Police Academy films? Let's reboot Twilight and fix what needed fixing!
Kristy: Oof. I think we've done enough for one day. Oh, unless Ridley Scott wants to call us about Prometheus 2, 'cause I got ideas.