The most notable thing about the latest trailer is that it ends the confusion surrounding the nature of John McClane's son, Jack (played by Jack Reacher antagonist Jai Courtney), until now no one quite knew what he was doing in this movie or how his discovery would propel his dad into another adventure. Everything is clear. Clearly stupid but clear nonetheless.
Jack is a CIA agent, out to stop a Russian terrorist from unleashing a nuclear warhead. Like I said, it's stupid and flies directly in the face of the grounded, blue collar roots of the series but it's honestly no more far-fetched than the entirety of Die Hard 4.
A few positive things: Jai Courtney impresses as the cool-as-ice, hard-as-nails offspring of our favourite Hard Dier. He's a better fit for the series than Justin Long or Kevin Smith, so this sequel has that going for it. The opening minute even references cowboys, a callback to the playful back-and-forth between Hans Gruber and John in the original, and they continue to trot out Ode To Joy for every piece of marketing that will allow it. It's blatant fan-service but I appreciate that this film actually cares enough about its fans to try, unlike Die Hard 2 or 4 which seem to hold their audience in contempt (is this to be a trend with even-numbered Die Hard movies?)
The mix of practical stunt work and CGI-drenched moneyshots leaves me feeling conflicted, a low-key stunt done practically will always excite me more than an effects-driven moment, which invariably leave me cold unless the movie happens to be a fantasy of some sort. Die Hard should feel tough and scrappy and real, the clue is in the title.
A Good Day to Die Hard (certain to get the comparatively dull title of Die Hard 5 in the UK) will be released in cinemas on Valentine's Day. Take a date!