The Conversation: Is 'A Good Day to Die Hard' the Best Title for 'Die Hard 5'?

The Conversation: Is 'A Good Day to Die Hard' the Best Title for 'Die Hard 5'?

Oct 12, 2011

After Live Free or Die Hard -- actually, after the tagline-turned-subtitle Die Harder -- nobody should be surprised with the ridiculous names given to Die Hard sequels. But that doesn't mean we can't make fun of them. As announced todayDie Hard 5 is officially to be called A Good Day to Die Hard, and the Interweb is having a field day responding to the news. I just wonder if history buffs might mistake this for a movie in which John McClane (Bruce Willis) goes back in time to fight Crazy Horse. Meanwhile, Star Trek geeks will be disappointed to find out McClane isn't battling Klingons this time around. He is fighting Russians, however, and Klingons were allegorically the Russians (well, the Soviet kind). I highly doubt the reference was intentional, but that would be awesomely nerdy if it was.

Personally, I'd prefer just plain Die Hard 5, but I think we only have ourselves to blame after we ruined the titling of the series installments when we all started referring to Die Hard 2 by the poster tagline, which eventually evolved into the film's official title as a result. But hey, at least it's not Die Hard in a Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, though you might be fearful enough that this sequel's father-and-son plot reminds one of Indiana Jones 4 anyway. Maybe since the film is scheduled for a Valentine's Day 2013 release, we'll be seeing Willis reuniting with ex-wife Holly (Bonnie Bedelia) for the lover's holiday, only to be pulled back into saving the day from terrorists. And we'll get an Indy and Marion vibe. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if aliens showed up in a Die Hard movie by now, either.

Anyway, about the title, some are loving it and some are hating it and some, specifically IFC News' Matt Singer, have developed parodying hashtag memes for us to play along with (my entry: Die Hard 5: More Like Energizer Because It Keeps Going and Going and Going - Zing!). Here's The Conversation on the web about the title A Good Day to Die Hard:


I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a pretty awesome title in my books. The series has a history of some pretty great names for its sequels so far: Die Hard 2: Die Harder, Die Hard With A Vengeance, and Live Free Or Die Hard. And though each arguably has a hint of a cheese-factor to it, they undeniably evoke the sense of awesomeness that surrounds Die Hard, and this latest title is more of the same. - Kenji Lloyd, HeyUGuys

The official title is A Good Day to Die Hard, because I guess John McClane (Bruce Willis) is now a Klingon. - Matt Goldberg, Collider

Oh lordy, lordy, lordy. 20th Century Fox have announced that the fifth film in Die Hard franchise will be called, and I kid you not, ‘A Good Day to Die Hard’. Jesus Christ. Of course the Die Hard series has been notorious for picking the most ludcrious sequel titles (Die Harder, Live Free or Die Hard… wtf) but this one is truly astonishing [...] sounds like a Funny or Die skit, no? - Matt Holmes, WhatCulture

Yes, that is the new title. I'd speculate on what it means or if it makes any sense [but] DIE HARDER meant nothing and made absolutely no sense. At least with LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD it was released right around the 4th of July holiday and that sort of made sense in the weird DIE HARD way of things. Shouldn't NO day be a good day to die hard? Isn't the whole point of the movies that John McClane is mostly miserable doing this? Whether it's his distant wife, a hangover headache or Dennis Franz being a pain in the ass, the days are never good days. - Mike Sampson,

If you ask me, that sounds more like a title for a James Bond movie than a movie about rough and tumble NYPD officer John McClane, but hey, when I was watching that tank top clad jerk blowing up Nakatomi Plaza all the way back in 1988 I guess I never imagined that I’d be seeing him traveling to Russia either. - Nathan Adams, Film School Rejects

To be fair, there has never been a Die Hard movie with an actually good title (even Die Hard is silly. And a battery), so this is probably one of the better ones. - Devin Faraci, Badass Digest (who fortunately corrected his earlier, oddly incorrect version of the post stating: "it now has a title: Die Hard or Go Home. I'll take Go Home, please!")

Oh, for the love of…  Sigh.  Because Die Harder, Die Hard with a Vengeance, and Live Free or Die Hard weren’t stupid enough titles for unnecessary sequels to a great film (and, let’s face it, Die Hard itself is kind of a goofy title, too), it was announced today by Fox CEO Tom Rothman that Die Hard 5 will be entitled A Good Day to Die Hard.  Seriously.  A… Good… Day… to… Die… Hard.  A group of grown men and women, adults, came up with and approved of that title for a film.   Really. - Travis Woods, ScreenCrave

You've come a long way from midtown, McClane. Pretty soon, you'll have done it all: New York, America, planet Earth, the galaxy...around the time of Die Hard 9: The Day the Music Died Hard, Bruce Willis will weep...for there will be no more worlds to conquer. -

Before settling on A Good Day to Die Hard, Rothman and Fox must’ve rejected any number of “die” title puns, which may or may not have included: Die Hard Another Day; Live and Let Die Hard [...] To Die Hard For; Funny or Die Hard [...] The Quick and the Die Hard; Things to Do in Denver When You’re Die Hard; The Die Harder They Come - Vince Mancini, Film Drunk

"A Good Day to Die Hard" is a decent title, if not as extravagantly silly as "Live Free or Die Hard." I wasn't convinced, though, that there wasn't a better (or, at least, more extravagantly silly) alternate title out there. I wracked my brain, and put it to Twitter, and came up with this list of Rejected Titles for "Die Hard 5": "Die Hard(ish)"; "A Horrible Way to Die Hard"; "Die Hard on a Die Hard Movie"; "Long is the Way, and Die Hard"; "Die Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger"; "Die Hard: The Dewey Cox Story" - Matt Singer, IFC News, who also includes other people's tweets.


@scottweinberg: I can't believe they called the new DIE HARD movie "Qwikster."

@EricDSnider: The new DIE HARD film should just use the German title, THE HARD.

@screenrant: The title for the next Die Hard movie sounds like a Viagra cross-promotion.

@Del_Robinson: Tempted to suggest that #DieHard 6 be the story of MaClaine investigating a Viagra smuggling ring. 'Die Hard with a Hard On' should do it.

@electrolemon: The Die Hard titles all sound like Simpsons parodies of action movie titles.

@misterpatches: Die Hard should have gone the simpler, "Rambo" route. "Die" or "Hard."

@darkhorizons: Makes one wonder what other sequels will follow the Die Hard title trend. "Revenge Is A Dish Best Served Cold Mountain" perhaps?

@slder78: @darkhorizons The Needs of the Many Outweigh the Needs of a Few Good Men

@JeremyKKirk: DIE HEART coming Valentine's Day 2013


And here's a sample of entries in the #rejecteddiehard5titles meme:

@pajiba: Goonies Never Say Die Hard

@JRichardKelly: Dying While Hard

@writerspry: Hands on a Die Hardbody

@VictoriaGray5: If At First You Don't Die Hard...Die, Die Again!

@kbiegel: The Pope Must Die(t) Hard

@fotav: Working 9 to Die Hard 5

@NotoriousBobbyG: Original Ideas Die Hardest in Hollywood

@BrianWCollins: To Live Free and Die Hard in Russia

@MisfitsTamara: 5 Die 5 Harder

@Jeff_Overstreet: Yippee-ki-yawn 


Follow Christopher Campbell on Twitter (@thefilmcynic) to join The Conversation.

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