Near the end of A Good Day to Die Hard, when Jack McClane asks his father whether he goes looking for trouble or if it just finds him, John says he's not sure of it himself. Over the course of five movies, McClane's proven to have the same curse as Jack Bauer -- always being within a stone's throw of a terrorist attack. His situation in A Good Day to Die Hard is the most contrived yet, but at least it's fun.
John (Bruce Willis) finds out his estranged son Jack (Jai Courtney) has been arrested for being the shooter in the least clandestine assassination ever. After flying to Russia and getting stuck in traffic with a singing cabbie, John wanders over to the crowded courthouse at the exact right time to see his son being led into court with Yuri Komarov, a political prisoner. Turns out Komarov has some file holding evidence that could implicate a corrupt government official, with whom he also used to make weapons-grade uranium. It also turns out that Jack works for the CIA, or does, as his father calls it, "spy ****." Explosions, double-crosses and witty one-liners ensue.
The problem with the last Die Hard movie (Live Free or Die Hard) was that it didn't feel like a Die Hard movie. John McClane barely had any lines, ceding a lot of the dialogue to the villains and a misplaced Kevin Smith. When he did speak, it didn't sound like John McClane -- just Bruce Willis doing his post-Sixth Sense whisper voice with little to no wit. This time, John's wisecracking, f-word spouting (the R rating really helps) personality is back, most notably when he refers to Jack's CIA partner as "Oddjob."
The plot, for the most part, is ridiculous. The convoluted criminal plan that eventually reveals itself is one of those Dark Knight/Skyfall, I'm-going-to-predict-everything-that-will-happen schemes that require substantial leaps of logic to accept. The villain(s) aren't nearly as interesting or enigmatic as the ones in the best Die Hard movies (the original and Die Hard with a Vengeance -- Jeremy Irons!). Once you get past that though, it's fun, even though it doesn't really make sense that the son of John and Holly McClane could grow up so utterly humorless. It's all right -- this time, John makes up for it.
Rated R for violence and language. GRADE: B