You know what you’re going to get, so it’s hard to complain too much. Before the almighty kicking that was meeted out to the recent 5th and possibly final edition, this 4th outing for John McClane was reasonable if not great.
There is the traditional yet unnecessary reminder that McClane is divorced and has family problems, but I guess there has to be someone in peril about whom he cares. Nevertheless it’s the moments of unexpectedly shoncky special effects that cause me to question the effort.
Every conversation held in a moving vehicle is clearly green-screened. Why? They look cheap and artificial. Why do this?
A later sequence involving a jet fighter feeling the need to be right next to its intended target seems stupid, when you’re already made aware of how easily such a weapon can destroy its prey from a distance.
But at the heart of the project is an aim to be modern, up to date. To make our hero’s cause relevant to the digital age. The bad guys aren’t traditional Cold War foes, they’re not even the bad guys of the 90s (The Living Daylights chose Afghanistan in a prescient move) but they are in fact computer hackers. Shock, horror everyone, our digital lives are vulnerable to security breaches!
But you know you’re watching a film that’s aware of its own heritage. The benchmark was set by the first film, and set high. This film has its wit and action, however over the top some of that action might be. There are ridiculous plot points that you can either accept or find frustrating but the best thing is just to enjoy it.
And then watch the original.