A Good Day to Die Hard
There are considerable negatives, most notably the actor who plays John Junior. Jai Courtney is rather bland and uncharismatic. Now, DH3 had the ultimate side-kick, while LFDH had John paired with a nerdy weakling, making for some comedic moments. Here, John is working with someone who is stronger and possibly even better-trained than him, and it is his estranged son to boot. However, the "kid" is never that interesting, and even unlikeable at times. It became tough to be invested in the father/son dynamic when half of that pair is so tough to feel connected to. Another weakness is the feeling of missed opportunities. With John in Moscow, this could have been a real fish out of water story. Imagine John growing frustrated with the language barrier, the cultural differences. There could have been some real humor, as well as suspense in having John trying to blend into Russia, and the movie basically ignores that. It would have been interesting to have John in the role of the Germans in DH1 and 3- like when they were trying to hide in America (the cigarettes, the "raining dogs and cats"), but the movie misses the chance. Finally, despite the interesting double cross, the plot just isn't as compelling. Yes, there is a lot at stake, but it happens so quickly that there is little time to appreciate the implications of the bad guys winning. In LFDH at least, the consequences of Gabriel's scheme are front and center (let alone DH1 and 3). Again, a bit of a missed opportunity.
So- what's the verdict? The movie never hits the highs of earlier entries, that is for sure. It is about on par with LFDH- it is a fun action movie with a likable lead, an everyman who we all could identify with. If you go in with lower expectations, you will find this to be an enjoyable action movie- just don't go in wanting it to be a classic, because it just isn't. I give it 2 1/2 out of 4 Marks of Chaos.
I think they should do one more Die Hard. The title could be something like say "Die Hardest" or something. You need to have Cristolph Waltz be the main villain (cerebral, but more smarmy than either Rickman or Irons), with McClane going against German terrorists one last time. Somebody like The Rock should be McClane's side-kick; somebody tough but also someone who could give Willis a run for his money in the charm department. There's still life in this franchise, and I think that if they do it right, it could be a worthy conclusion. Just my fanboy musing.