A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD
Family Never Dies
Starring: Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney,
Sebastian Koch, Rasha Bukvic,
Cole Hauser, Yulia Snigir
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 97 minutes
Distributor: 20th Century Fox/News Corp.
Director: John Moore
Executive Producer: Bruce Willis, Skip Woods,
Producer: Alex Young
Writer: Skip Woods
Address Comments To:Rupert Murdoch, Chairman/CEO, News Corp.
Chase Carey, President/COO, News Corp.
Jim Gianopulos, Chairman/CEO, Fox Filmed Entertainment
20th Century Fox Film Corp. (Fox Searchlight Pictures/Fox 2000/Fox Atomic/FoxFaith)
10201 West Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90035
Phone: (310) 369-1000; Website: www.fox.com
In the plot, which takes place in Russia, the power-hungry defense minister has imprisoned his former partner, a billionaire named Yuri, for five years. Yuri is set to go to trial in a few days.
Meanwhile, a young man tries to kill some bigwig in a club. He claims to be under orders from Yuri.
The police arrest the young man, who just happens to be perennial DIE HARD hero John McLain’s estranged son, Jack. For some reason, Jack is posing as a Russian. The authorities decide to use Jack as a witness against Yuri. In the courtroom, they put Jack in a see-through cell next to Yuri’s.
On the same day, McClane arrives in Moscow to try to see his son. Outside the courthouse, a group of terrorist bad guys explode a bunch of cars next to the courthouse, breaching the courthouse walls. Jack turns out to be an undercover CIA agent. During the chaos, he tries to spirit Yuri away from the courthouse, but is followed by the terrorists. At the same time, McClane sees his son and Yuri. He makes it easy for the terrorists to catch up to Jack and Yuri using a nondescript van. A huge, hyperbolic car chase begins.
Eventually, viewers learn that Yuri has a file on the defense minister that will expose his criminal activities, which are intended to grab the reins of power in Russia. America doesn’t want to see this bad guy in power, so they offer Yuri help to get out of Russia in return for the file.
More mayhem and more plot twists ensue. In fact, one twist in the second half reveals another villain. This villain is trying to get some weapons grade uranium secretly stashed away at Chernobyl before the nuclear power plant disaster there turned the area into an unpopulated wasteland. An important side question is whether John and his son Jack will reconcile.
The personal stakes in trying to stop the evil defense minister are a little soft. Also, the family dynamics between McClane and his son have little to do with this main plot. All this dilutes the impact of A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD. Especially when compared to the first, second and fourth movie in the franchise. That said, there’s still plenty of exciting, spectacular action.
The other good news is that A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD continues the pro-family, patriotic messages that have become commonplace in the DIE HARD movies. However, the movie adds more “f” words to get an R rating. There’s also more strong profanities, which themselves deserve an R rating from the morally, spiritually challenged yahoos running the secularized MPAA ratings board. Finally, though most of the violence is typical PG-13 action violence, there are a couple bloody shots that are too graphic. So, extreme caution is advised.
The DIE HARD series takes a step back in its new sequel, A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD. There’s still a pro-family, patriotic message in the new movie, and plenty of exciting action. However, the personal stakes in the plot are muted. This seems to dilute the kind of powerful drama that made the first DIE HARD movie one of the all-time great action classics. Also, the filmmakers have re-inserted brief R-rated violence among the mayhem and more R-rated foul language. So, extreme caution is advised for A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD.