At this point, Willis could be delivering that monologue in almost any of his action films. Where McClane began as a particular man with a unique personality and his own set of problems, the series has hollowed him out, turning him into a generic hero who can be dropped into any situation to say his catchphrase at least once per film with the predictability of a pull-string toy.
That doesn't mean the Die Hards have gotten bad. To the last, they're glossy, big-budget action films crafted with care and built around this most charismatic of movie stars. But to revisit them is to see a series that has lost sight of what set it apart in the first place. Maybe A Good Day to Die Hard—which this time teams McClane up with his estranged son—will change that. Maybe it will be as much about forging bonds as dodging bullets and make McClane back into a character we might feel for. It's a long shot at this point, but he's beat the odds before.