February 27, 2014

What We Want from Die Hard 6

After the (frankly terrible) fifth entry in the Die Hard series, I feel we need one more movie to redeem the franchise’s once great name.

Many of the key elements from the original trilogy were missing and it’s like the writer Skip Woods and director John Moore hadn’t even seen a Die Hard movie before.

Moore said before the film’s release: “I don’t know whether it’s post-financial crash or whatever, but I don’t think people are in the mood for that bollocks anymore. People are well savvy to the cynical reheating of any product, any franchise. Any shit won’t do. The bar’s a bit higher.”

I knew the film was going to suck right from there; there was nothing savvy about A Good Day to Die Hard and Moore shouldn’t be allowed near the franchise ever again.

Anyway, here’s what I want to see in the tentatively named “Die Hardest”.


Give John McClane his Personality Back!

Bruce Willis has been sleep walking through the past decade rarely giving a memorable performance, which is a shame considering how cool he used to be. In the 90’s he was my total hero and few people were cooler than him when he played McClane or Joe Hallenbeck in The Last Boy Scout.

In A Good Day to Die Hard McClane was almost a side character next to his unlikable prick of a son, played by Jai Courtney. You didn’t care if this kid ended up getting killed because he treated his dad so poorly for no good reason.

Frankly, McClane doesn’t need a sidekick, that’s what made the original so great. The way he talks to himself when shit hits the fan was one of the more entertaining aspects of it.

Why has he become so sad all of a sudden? That’s not John McClane; he has a quip for any situation and yet remains vulnerable. He’s grouchy, yes but not sad. Having him shout abuse at the bad guys is one of most entertaining parts.

McClane has a sense of humour and the first few movies had one too; I love the scenes where the SWAT Team are going to storm the building then one of them jabs his finger on a rose and goes “OW!”. Just nice little bits of tongue n’ cheek humour made it work so much better.

In the first movie, McClane wasn’t a superhero; he bled, cried and there was a genuine sense of threat. The villains weren’t just big bruisers who went around beating people up; they were intellectuals and sometimes smarter than McClane… or so they thought.

The fifth movie barely even had a villain and now that McClane and Son are the Wondertwins who can’t be stopped, there was absolutely no point where you think “Oh no, they might not make it!” Now it’s “Look, he’s surfing on a jet plane, etc”


Give us Hans Gruber Jr.

The Gruber family are John McClane’s absolute nemeses. What’s to say that Hans or Simon didn’t have kids who would want revenge on the man who killed their father? Even if we don’t get a Gruber, just give us a decent bad guy, who is memorable and interesting. Someone who is a physical and mental threat would be something cool kinda like Colonel Stuart in Die Hard 2.


Make it Contained Again!

The best thing about the original Die Hard was the contained action; the entire movie pretty much took place in the one building, so it would be good if they scaled it down and have the action in one place. I actually really like the idea of Ben Trebilcook’s Treatment where it is set in Japan and involves the Nakatomi Corporation having a commendation for John McClane on the 25th anniversary of the Nakatomi siege. We could have a claustrophobic movie which really demonstrates how vulnerable McClane still is especially if they…


Bring Back Holly!

John’s estranged wife Holly was the glue that held him together in the first movie; she was the love of his life and you’d believe that he would do anything to save her. It took terrorists to take over her office for him to realize that, but that was the point. They got back together and then they mistakenly took her out of the series and made John the sad loner. Without him trying to save her, McClane just isn’t as interesting a character and he has lost his spark. Although it would be unbelievable for them to get back together in Part 6, it would be cool if she was at this event to honor him and history essentially repeated itself.


John McTiernan NEEDS to Direct!

If there’s one man who understands John McClane, it’s McTiernan. He directed the first and third entries in the series and that’s why they remain the best. His McClane is cool yet vulnerable, casually viscous and loves to piss off the bad guys. He got the best performance from Bruce Willis but also he made the most violent movies of the series. It’s called Die Hard after all, not Tread Softly.


A Cameo from Al Powell

As entertaining as it might be to have Samuel L. Jackson return, it would be very much jumping the shark in terms of believability, but Al Powell on the other hand was with John (via walkie talkie) during the Nakatomi crisis and even helped him out in Part 2. Even having him on the phone for a minute would be a nice nod as the two characters would clearly be life-long friends after everything they went through. It was after all because of McClane that Al found personal redemption after accidentally shooting a kid several years before.


A Script from Shane Black

For me, Shane Black remains one of the greatest action movie screenwriters of all time; he has worked with Willis previously on the aforementioned Last Boy Scout and that’s the kind of banter I want to see back in Die Hard. None of this gritty, shaky cam filled shit; I want a Die Hard movie I can cheer with again and come out with a smile on my face. I think Shane Black is the perfect choice and could bring the series back to its former glory.


Will any of this happen? One can dream, but it’s doubtful. If we don’t get McTiernan and the movie we’d actually all like to see, then why bother? Maybe it is time for the series to Die hard after all…


About the Author

Eoin Friel
Eoin Friel

I grew up watching JCVD, Sly and Arnold destroy bad guys, blow things up and spew one-liners like it’s a fashion statement. Action is everything I go to the movies for and the reason I came up with this site is to share my love for the genre with everyone.



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