A Good Day to Die Hard is a Valentine’s Day movie. We will not be taking questions.
The fifth installment of the Die Hard franchise premiered 10 years ago today on Valentine’s Day, 2013. The roman numeral for five is “V,” as in Valentine. The beloved action series starring Bruce Willis began with a holiday movie. What further evidence could possibly be needed to prove that Die Hard 5 is a Valentine’s Day movie?
Yes, Die Hard 5 doesn’t have a romantic subplot. Sure, our protagonist in the film, NYPD detective John McClane, has ostensibly been single since he and his ex-wife Holly split up before the events of Die Hard 4. And fine, the only character relationship even remotely explored in Die Hard 5 is the one between McClane and his adult son. But Die Hard 5 is a Valentine’s Day movie, and, on its Tin Anniversary, it’s time to show it some love.
Often described as “the weakest entry in a storied franchise,” a “shell of its predecessors” and “a spit in the face of the franchise, an embarrassment that should be quickly forgotten about and never spoken of again,” Die Hard 5 is also a Valentine’s Day movie. Why else would 20th Century Fox choose to release its fifth and possibly final installment of the action franchise on a day devoted to romantic love despite the fact that our hero’s only love interest hadn’t appeared on-screen since Die Hard 2?
Die Hard 5 saw a 57-year-old John McClane travel to Russia to save his undercover CIA agent son Jack who is held on trial for an assassination attempt — John springs Jack from detention and the two go toe-to-toe with the full might of the oligarchy almost entirely by themselves as they paint Moscow red. Red is both the color of blood and the color of love — Die Hard 5 is a Valentine’s Day movie.
Ten years ago, couples flocked to movie theaters to celebrate their love at the premiere of Die Hard 5. The back two rows of Die Hard 5’s inaugural screenings might as well have been a bubbling hot tub in the penthouse of a Parisian hotel considering how steamy those seats must have been as twin souls raptured in romance watched John McClane’s kid hurl a Russian billionaire into spinning helicopter blades at Chernobyl.
In nine months, perhaps some Die Hard die-hards will finally tell their own son about the night he was conceived as they celebrate his 10th birthday. Die Hard 5 is a Valentine’s Day movie.