Where Will Die Hard 5 Land on the All-Time Fifth-Film Spectrum?

fifth_film_spectrum_full.jpgSo you might have heard Bruce Willis was recently asked about the prospects of a fifth Die Hard film. And as it happens, by next year there will, in fact, be a fifth franchise installment. (My guess for a title: Early to Bed and Early to Rise, Makes a Man Healthy, Wealthy and Die Hard). A script has even already been written! But a fifth Die Hard? Seriously, how unlucky can one guy be? (Myself included.) The prospects for a fifth entry in a film series do not exactly have the best track record -- but there are some exceptions. To put this all in perspective, Movieline has developed the indispensable Fifth-Movie Installment Spectrum™ to shed some light on what Die Hard 5: Fools Rush in Where Angels Fear to Die Hard is up against.

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· Batman Begins

Perhaps the greatest fifth film in the history of movie franchises. Of course, the series had to be completely rebooted to achieve this high honor, something it appears that Die Hard 5: Never Leave that till Tomorrow Which You Can Die Hard is not willing to do.

· Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Strike two against a fifth Die Hard. From the first Harry Potter film, the source material was that of which it was a known thing there would be well over five Harry Potter films. When John McClane jumped off the roof of Nakatomi Plaza in 1988, he had no idea he had four more wrong-place-in-the-wrong-time adventures ahead of him.

· You Only Live Twice

The fifth James Bond movie and the last before Sean Connery was replaced by George Lazenby (Connery would return for one more film after Lazenby). Also, You Only Live Twice would give us our first view of Blofeld, which led directly to the creation of Dr. Evil in the Austin Powers series 30 years later.

· Superman Returns

This film pretty much defines the term "serviceable." There's not much wrong here, especially when compared with the fourth installment, Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (a title I have typed twice in the last two days, for some reason) but there's not a lot right about it either. Still, for a fifth film, it ranks in the upper half -- which isn't the best of signs.

· The Dead Pool

The last adventure for "Dirty" Harry Callahan. What a great nickname, "Dirty." Maybe that could help a fifth Die Hard. Perhaps John McClane needs a long overdue nickname. "Now, back again for a fifth adventure, 'Filthy' John McClane in Only Those Who Dare to Fail Greatly Can Ever Die Hard."

· Attack of the Clones

See, even when a film series is plotted out in advance, it isn't easy to keep the momentum going in the fifth film (or the fourth, apparently.) I was going to suggest that an appearance from Boba Fett, like in Clones, couldn't hurt the fifth Die Hard film. Then I remembered, Boba Fett was already in Live Free or Die Hard. Seriously.

· Battle for the Planet of the Apes

By far, the worst of the original Planet of the Apes films. Charlton Heston was long gone by this installment (his last being the second film, Beneath the Planet of the Apes) and the budget was cut drastically, effectively killing the franchise for the next 28 years. For better or worse, it's back.

· Rocky V

I hate this movie. I know, I'm not alone, but I really hate it. I hate it because it tries it's best to ruin the other four films. Because now, when I watch Rocky I, II, III or IV, I can't help but think, None of this even matters because Rocky loses his fortune anyway and is back on the streets.

· Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

The future star of $h*! My Dad Says finally got his chance to direct Star Trek film. To finally prove, like Nimoy with Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, that he could direct, too. To be fair, the studio killed his budget, but this movie is abysmal. Nimoy's follow up to The Voyage Home was Three Men and a Baby; the least they could have done was allow Shatner to direct Three Men and a Little Lady.

· National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie's Island Adventure

This exists. Really. When a franchise has gone on long enough that Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo are no longer interested, it may be time to pull the plug on the whole thing. (Come to think of it, Bruce Willis only said there would be a fifth Die Hard, not that he's going to be in it). It probably didn't help that shortly after Randy Quaid went insane. Or, perhaps, this was what drove the poor guy over the edge. Dana Barron, who played Audrey Griswald in the original film, reprises her role for some reason. Thankfully Ed Asner's career was not permanently harmed.