But then you have no conflict save for that between the protagonist and antagonist. Which makes for a somewhat bland story.
As much as I dislike 4.0, it did raise a very good point about what being the hero has done to John McClane's life, summed up by this quote; "You know what you get for being a hero? Nothin'. You get shot at. You get a little pat on the back, blah, blah, blah, attaboy. You get divorced. Your wife can't remember your last name. Your kids don't want to talk to you. You get to eat a lot of meals by yourself. Trust me, kid, nobody wants to be that guy.
Yeah, we love John McClane because he kicks ass and has a plethora of witty one liners. We sympathise with him when his feet get lacerated by broken glass, or he gets shot or you realise that his marriage is breaking down. But that's because we can see him going through all that. But Holly couldn't see that, Lucy couldn't see that, nor could John Jr. All they saw was John putting his job ahead of them again and again, or "sorry kids, but Daddy is busy". That's on John, his wife and kids do feel they have legitimate reasons not to want John in their lives. I mean in 4.0 he actually stalks his daughter and violently threatens her boyfriend (granted, the guy seemed like a dickhead).
Now consider it from the perspectives of other organisations. You have this cop, comes in, screws things up, causes massive amounts of property destruction, kills the criminals and often risks the lives of innocent civilians. In 5 he went to another country where his being a cop meant absolutely nothing and
breaking his CIA agent son out of jail
. The man is a nightmare for law enforcement. The only reason John still has a job is because he's a lucky bastard who tends to be right.
One incredibly interesting point to note is that John starts to get a whole lot darker and more acerbic after the plane crashes in Die Hard 2. That's 200+ innocent people murdered because he, and the airport crew tried to warn the planes. All those deaths are on their heads, and considering that for John, its an incredibly stark reminder of what could be in store for his wife, it leaves his very jaded and difficult in dealing with the authorities.
Ultimately we're seeing John McClane, not through his eyes, but through how others see him, and to be honest, its not a pretty picture. We know John McClane is a hero, but its hidden under a lonely, bitter and jaded shell.