Sunday, February 17, 2013

Bonding by dodging and shooting bullets

Yet another installment in the undying “Die Hard” franchise, “A Good Day to Die Hard” is the fifth in the series of action movies starring Bruce Willis. Aging along with the actor, the franchise is popular for its gung-ho cop protagonist who finds himself improvising amid big, explosive sequences; this part marks two and a half decades since the first blockbuster, and repeats much of the previous scenarios to little emotional impact.

‘A Good Day to Die Hard” started screening locally across 200 cinemas last week. While very little has changed—the gunfights and bloody skirmishes are positioned at expected intervals—a boosted dynamic is introduced. A new character joins Willis’ John McClane in the form of CIA agent Jack McClane (Jai Courtney), his estranged and embittered son.

Crossing paths in Moscow, father and son uncomfortably work together to protect a Russian political prisoner (Sebastian Koch), targeted by a faction of relentless, well-connected killers. Jack reluctantly accepts John’s help; his old man reverts to action hero mode, teaching his son a thing or two about resourcefulness and bad guy-whacking.

If not for this added element, the movie would've been a complete and hopeless retread. The new blood helps, sure, but it’s hard to feel anything for the new duo. Even when they’re beaten up and bloodied, you just know they’ll find an opening and get out of their predicaments sans lasting damage. Courtney gets a sizeable portion of the action, making up for Willis’ noticeably and understandably slower gunslinger.

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