Wild and woolly installment for durable action franchiseBy Nestor U. Torre
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Our fascination with Bruce Willis goes back a long way, even before he hit it big in the movies with his “Die Hard” action film franchise. We first delighted in his antics as early as his hit TV show, “Moonlighting,” which made him and co-star Cybil Shepard the toast of television.
When Willis shifted his career focus to film stardom, it was quite logical for him to keep the humor flying to punctuate his movies’ action scenes.
Sadly, the “Die Hard” film series has been so successful—and extended—that it’s had trouble coming up with sequels that aren’t mere rehashes of the original hit production. The latest installment, “A Good Day to Die Hard,” is no exception:
To ramp up the action and international skulduggery, Willis, whose character is now officially retired, suddenly finds himself in, of all unexpected places, Russia! What’s he doing there? Unknown to him, his estranged son (played by Jai Courtney) has become a top spy in his own right, and is tasked with freeing a dissident.
To galvanize viewers’ interest in this far-out scripting conceit, the production comes up with an exceedingly long and bone-crushing car chase.
At first, Willis is nonplussed to find himself in the middle of the vehicular carnage (no pun intended)—but, when he realizes that his son is involved, he counts himself in (even if his conflicted son wants him out)!
Aside from this overlong chase sequence, the production thinks up a complicated spy-versus-counterspy plot that has some characters changing allegiances as quickly as traffic lights change colors. Thus, viewers have to pay close attention!
Talk about overreaching for effect, the flick’s pumped-up plotting even takes its motley crew all the way to the ravaged nuclear plant at Chernobyl! —What in the world are they doing there? Don’t ask.
The film ends up telling such a wild and woolly tale that, when all is said and done, it can’t be taken seriously. But, the production can still be enjoyed, thanks to Willis’ sardonic wit, which pulls the movie’s disparate bits together.
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