One of the biggest problems for me is that the McGuffin is not well explained, so it’s not clear what the McClanes are fighting for other than to save their own skin. The file seems like it would not have very significant implications except for a few people, and there are no apparent threats to anyone but the combatants.
It violates what I thought to be the tradition of the franchise: with each successive sequel, the playing field is larger, the action more intense, and the stakes much higher. Hans takes about 30 hostages in a plot to steal $600 million, Stuart takes several airliners hostage in a plot to free General Esperanza, Simon threatens to blow up a school and creates complete chaos in New York City in a plot to steal $140 billion, and Gabriel targets “the accumulated wealth of the United States” while crippling much of the nation’s infrastructure in order to make a point.
Publicity for A Good Day to Die Hard
said that McClane & Son had to stop “a terrorist plot that threatens the stability of the free world.” I figured that after preventing a war in #5, the sixth and final film in the franchise would have McClane battling a plot that threatens the entire human race, like Twelve Monkeys
and Rainbox Six
. Unfortunately, #5 never feels like they’re fighting for such high stakes, and since it seems TPTB do not have the same view that I did about the traditions of the franchise that I did, it now seems unlikely we’ll get a battle to save the human race in #6.