It is inevitable: there will be a Die Hard 6. It will have an unwieldy sentence as its title, and it will probably be pretty bad. Despite rumors that the production is seeking a return of both Samuel L. Jackson and director John McTiernan (who is fresh out of literal jail, but still in director’s jail), I maintain my assertion that it will be absolute garbage. You see, as the guy who proudly maintained his love for the series, even through the under-appreciated and embarrassingly titled Live Free or Die Hard, the gut-punch that was A Good Day to Die Hard left me with no faith.
This was a movie that it seemed only I could enjoy, and as the feeling of disappointment swept over me and likely the two other people in the theater, I couldn’t help feeling incredulous. Betrayed even. And then I walked home by myself … in the rain. The worst part of all of this is knowing that when Die Hard 6: Only the Good Die Hard explodes into theaters, I will be first in line to watch a sixty-something man grimace his way through increasingly improbable (and increasingly CGI reliant) set pieces, despite the fact that the filmmakers have given up on putting in any type of effort whatsoever.
So if this is how it’s going down — and I assure you it is — I vote that the filmmakers embrace the ridiculousness of it and consider my pitch for Die Hard 6.
Our movie would open on Christmas (because it’s about time we steer this franchise back to its roots) in an interrogation room. There is a scummy perp sitting at the desk, tight-lipped, relatively cool considering he’s being grilled by the great John McClane. Bullets of sweat begin to form on the face of the perp as McClane grows more intense. Detective McClane (yes, he received a promotion) shoots verbal barbs at his mark, while maintaining an air of disbelief that he even has to be here, as Christmas is his only day off.
Eventually, the perp breaks into tears, exclaiming “Why is grandpa being so mean?!?” McClane laughs and says, “you sound like my ex-wife!”
At this point the fantasy dissolves and what is really happening is revealed: John McClane, living out his days at the Nakatomi Acres Rest Home, is sitting in a wheelchair while his family visits him. His granddaughter, age 5, is sitting across from him, crying. “What is Grandpa saying?” she yelps to her mother, “he doesn’t even know who I am.”
Title Card: DIE HARD, ALREADY
The bulk of the movie would be about John McClane suffering from senility, PTSD, and a host of physical ailments resultant from his many years of drinking, smoking, crashing through panes of glass, dealing with divorce proceedings, and leaving hospital-worthy wounds untended while engaging in violent fist fights with hulking foreigners. Through his delusions he is convinced that there are terrorists taking over Nakatomi Acres in an effort to obtain a rare prescription drug recipe.
Of course this criminal plot is not actually happening, but in his efforts to defeat the presumed villains, McClane would unknowingly stumble across — and effectively agitate — an actual threat to the hospital, lead by Grace Gruber, head nurse and close relative to Hans and Simon Gruber, two of McClane’s higher profile victims.
Also living at Nakatomi Acres is former police sergeant Al Powell, played with heartrending warmth by the great Reginald VelJohnson. Powell also believes that an attack is happening at Nakatomi Acres, but due to delusions brought on by having accidentally shot another kid while on duty, he sees only as far as McClane, and the two become partners once again. They also play shuffleboard together.
Grace Gruber, who doesn’t really view McClane as a threat — because he’s not — is instead frustrated with how he accidentally keeps foiling parts of her plan (which is something involving gold, nukes, and corruption at the highest levels of Rest Home politics), often stopping to lament “McClane! Why won’t you just DIE, ALREADY?!?”
Eventually our two cluelessly vigilant heroes will end up saving the day and looking way too old doing it, unless of course they are being represented by CGI avatars, which they will be for a large portion of the film.
Ok, ok, I think you get my point. As I spoke about last week, 2015 is a huge year for franchise entries, most of which actually look promising, but it’s important to remember the challenges faced by continuing a film series beyond its original entry. Do we want quality or quantity? Can we have both? Where as even two years ago, the mere existence of A Good Day to Die Hard was evidence enough that studios prefer quantity over quality, the upcoming calendar of sequels indicate a trend toward a peaceful coexistence of both. Granted, this is based solely on promotional materials, but I’m an optimist. Hopefully, when Die Hard 6 does come barreling through production, the filmmakers will consider that even a cash grab can have merit, and should. And if it doesn’t, they could at least make it interesting, in which case I implore that I be contacted. I will write DIE HARD, ALREADY, and it’ll be everything we ever wanted, even if we didn’t know it.
Yippee ki yay.