"Family Never Dies"
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, including more than several “f” words and some strong profanities.
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.
(BB, P, C, LLL, VVV, N, A, MM) Strong moral worldview with some patriotic content and some redemptive pro-family content where father hero reconciles with his estranged son; about 47 obscenities (mostly “f” and “s” words), eight strong profanities (three GDs), and two light profanities; very strong violence in two shots when man is shot in head and man falls into helicopter blades plus lots of strong action violence including gunfights where people are shot and not shot, huge car/vehicle chase with lots of destruction of other cars, people fall through glass and through construction site barrels, helicopter guns smash up building and large room, men kicked and punched, fighting, men killed in close combat, helicopter blades smash through building and concrete sign, men get bloody wounds, etc.; no sex; upper male nudity; alcohol use in bar scene; no smoking or drugs; and, stealing, kidnapping, man falsely imprisoned, stealing nuclear material, lying, deceit, but mostly rebuked by good guys.
A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD once again stars Bruce Willis as tough guy John McClane. This time, McClane is in Russia, where his estranged son, Jack, is on trial for attempted murder. However, it’s all part of a CIA plot to save an imprisoned Russian billionaire who has a secret file on the country’s evil defense minister. Can McClane and his son stop the bad guys and save the world from another megalomaniac? Will they reconcile their personal differences and forgive one another for the past?
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.