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|A Good Day to Die Hard|
dir John Moore
scr Skip Woods
prd Alex Young
with Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney, Sebastian Koch, Yuliya Snigir, Rasha Bukvic, Sergey Kolesnikov, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Cole Hauser, Amaury Nolasco, Roman Luknar, Pasha D Lychnikoff, Melissa Tang
release US/UK 14.Feb.13
13/US Fox 1h37
Life father, like son: Willis and Courtney
|R E V I E W B Y R I C H C L I N E|
As this franchise becomes a parody of itself, the action scenes continue to abandon all logic to become bigger and more explosive than before. So while the script has promise as a gritty spy-themed action-comedy, the film is like a battering ram beating us into submission: you will enjoy this or else!
When his estranged son gets in trouble in Moscow, John McClane (Willis) drops everything to help him, unwittingly walking into a massive war between old-style Russkie villain Viktor (Kolesnikov) and his former nuke-dealing cohort Yuri (Koch). Surprisingly, John's son Jack (Courtney) turns out to be a CIA operative who's trying to help Yuri sell vital intel to America, and all three go on the run from Viktor's vicious tap-dancing thug Alik (Bukvic). Then after a series of unexpected twists, John and Jack are left to clean up the mess. In Chernobyl.
The script has fun with the father-son theme, letting John and Jack trade insults and bond emotionally before heading off to "kill some scumbags". And the body count is very high indeed. There's an apocalyptic car chase through Moscow that seems like a Bourne spoof. Big-gun shootouts lay waste to pretty much any ugly Soviet architecture still standing. And the radiation-meltdown threat is solved instantly with the overdramatic arrival of some sort of magical gas.
Through all of this Willis is clearly having a ball, reeling off sardonic one-liners at every turn and bonding manfully with the equally indestructible Courtney. Sparking with chemistry that's both tetchy and sweet, they make a great team, which bodes well for a seventh film in the series. And hopefully Jack's sister Lucy (Winstead) will get into the action next time. She deserves to do more than just provide another lift to the airport for dear old Dad.
On the other hand, this franchise launched with an expertly made action movie and has devolved into a cheesy cartoon series. Moore pastes this instalment together without much originality, never bothering to make any sense the set pieces, let alone the overall plot. It's packed with enough in-jokes and corny dialog to keep us chuckling, but there's not a split second of suspense amid the epic crashes and mammoth explosions. Because we know that it's impossible to kill a McLane.
|R E A D E R R E V I E W S|
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© 2013 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall|
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