The Bourne films have been called America’s answer to Bond, but that’s not quite accurate. There’s nothing quintessentially American about Jason Bourne. More accurately, John McClane is the American corollary. Instead of an international spy, he’s a New York cop. He’s not glamorous, he’s rough-around-the-edges. He doesn’t drink martinis, he chugs Budweiser (presumably.)
Which begs the question: Why is the Die Hard franchise so unsustainable (i.e., bad) when the Bond one never seems to grow old? One reason is obvious: They cycle in new Bonds every few years, so the franchise isn’t reduced to one big “I’m too old for this sh-t” joke.
But it’s bigger than that: There are endless ways to spin a tale of international intrigue and adventure. There are only so many ways a working class cop can get entangled in life and death scenarios without it just seeming ridiculous. The Die Hard franchise passed ridiculous three movies ago.
So what do they do this time? They essentially turn John McClane into an accidental version James Bond. Bad idea.
McClane travels to Moscow (so retro!) because he finds out that his estranged son, Jack (Jai Courtney, a kind of poor man’s...