By NAOMI BERUMEN
Asst. photography editor
“A Good Day to Die Hard,” the most recent film in the “Die Hard” series by director John Moore, was a consistent entry in the franchise’s volley of overt action-packed trappings.
In prior films, John McClane (Bruce Willis), involved himself in hardcore operations that put a strain on his marriage. In “A Good Day,” his familial problems continue.
John’s involvement in law enforcement turned him into an expert at his craft. However, he has not only weathered a divorce, but he also neglected his estranged son, Jack (Jai Courtney), who now holds a resentful grudge against his father.
John attempts to reconnect with Jack in Russia, but upon arrival, he finds his son in the middle of an intense conflict. To John’s surprise, Jack is a CIA agent and in the process of helping a convict, Yuri Komarov (Sebastian Koch) escape, who supposedly knows where a highly important file is located.
Jack has no intentions of talking to his father and perilously tries to continue on his mission.
Though the movie fits with the action genre, tidbits of comedic relief provide a break, giving the movie a much lighter tone. For example, while the villainous Russians chase Jack, John chases both the Russians and his son, attempting to continue a conversation that Jack wants no part of.
When Jack’s mission almost goes to ruins, he unwillingly receives his dad’s help to complete the mission. The situation, although cliche, was a great way of forging a father-son relationship and big-budget action. The predicament brings them closer and unearths the deep bond they truly have.
Willis and Courtney work well together, and though it is the fifth movie of the franchise, it is well conceived and written.
Bruce Willis portrays a concerned yet unattached father well. Courtney successfully portrayed a tense character, who is more hesitant with his lack of experience in comparison to Willis, who portrays John as resourceful but unnaturally calm.
The majority of the stunt work complemented the pyrotechnics along with the rest of the special effects. Most of the effects were convincing and enjoyable. The biggest downfall in the film was a certain helicopter crash that seemed stilted and clearly computer generated.
The soundtrack by composer Marco Beltrami was unremarkable, and the opening song gave the film a ‘007’ feel, and was a complete insult to the action genre. The rest of the soundtrack included typical orchestra schlock.
Older fans of the series can consider action scenes rehashed and the continuation of minor cowboy references unnecessary.
The film struggles to engage older fans while trying to appeal to a new audience, but it succeeds in capturing the attention of the viewers new to the franchise, who will certainly have a good time.