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Good Day to Die Hard, A


Stars: Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney, Sebastian Koch, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Yulia Snigir, Rasha Bukvic, Cole Hauser, Amaury Nolasco, Sergey Kolesnikov

Director: John Moore

Bruce Willis returns in his iconic role of New York detective John McClane.

And the key question is this – do we really need another ‘Die Hard’ movie?

The answer, as far as I am concerned is “Yes!” No, ‘A Good Day to Die Hard probably lacks artistic merit (although the crisp editing of Dan Zimmerman deserves praise, especially in the frequent action sequences) but, if its aim is to entertain, then Willis’ fifth outing as McClane succeeds splendidly – especially for fans of star-driven action movies.

The plot is straightforward enough – Willis comes to Moscow to look for his estranged son Jai Courtney and finds he is a US agent working undercover to protect Russian government whistleblower Sebastian Koch. Cue an almost constant outburst of action – on wheels, when Willis manages to create constant chaos and causes the biggest pile of wrecked autos in Russian history.

After that the action is near nonstop, with enough bullets expended to restage WW2 as the plot careers at high speed towards the climax in Chernobyl and as good a man-versus-airborne-helicopter sequence as you could hope to see.

With action rather than acting at the core of director John Moore and scenarist Skip Woods' work, the film comes over as fast, furious and always entertaining without putting any intellectual strain on the audience. Willis slips back into McClane’s character with ease and surprising grace, Courtney does what is required of him (banter, not always friendly, with his father, and lashings of gunplay and assorted action.

I don’t pretend I’ll remember it for long or add the film to my list of desert island possibles. I simply enjoyed it very much – for what it is - value for money for action movie fans.

Alan Frank

USA 2013. UK Distributor: 20th Century Fox.. Colour.
98 minutes. not widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 13 Feb 2013