Reviewed by: Raphael Vera
terrorism / terrorists
father son relationship
courage / bravery / self-sacrifice
|Featuring:||Bruce Willis … John McClane
Jai Courtney … Jack McClane
Sebastian Koch … Komarov
Mary Elizabeth Winstead … Lucy
Yuliya Snigir … Irina
Rasha Bukvic … Alik
Cole Hauser … Collins
Amaury Nolasco … Murphy
Sergey Kolesnikov … Chagarin
|Director:||John Moore—“Behind Enemy Lines,” “Max Payne,” “The Omen”|
Origo Film Group
|Distributor:||Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation|
Prequel: “Live Free or Die Hard” (2007)
A top Russian politico named Chagarin is about to have his one-time partner, now enemy, sentenced to prison for life. However, Komarov still has something he wants, but since he refuses to give it up, Chagarin’s people arrange to have arrested American Jack McClane (Jai Cortney) to falsely testify against Komarov.
John McClane (Bruce Willis), upon hearing his son is in trouble, flies to Moscow for the trial, just as a well armed team tries to breakout Komarov. Blowing up half the courthouse and killing all the soldiers though doesn’t get them Komarov, as Jack, secretly a CIA agent, had an escape plan all his own.
The mercenaries give chase to Jack and Komarov, while John McClane enters the fray by joining his son on his latest mission to save Komarov, bring down a mad man who would deal with terrorists and upturn plans that can threaten the world with nuclear devastation. All in a day’s work for a man who once again finds himself, “… in the wrong place, at the wrong time.”
Violence: Extreme. Besides a few close-ups of bullets to the head, many are shot, blown up, crushed under armored vehicles and cars, stabbed, and one is minced by helicopter blades. The violence is often so gratuitous that the chief mercenary, Alik, burst out laughing, which gave me the impression he was just reflecting the director’s obscene glee at the scene. Not a family movie by any means. This and the next topic more than earn this “Die Hard” its “R” rating.
Language: Extreme. Cursing is rampant throughout, with about two dozen “S” words, 16 “F” words, two “A” word insults, one “B” word and 18 taking of the Lord’s name in vain. “Damn you…” was used sparingly and always by Jack directed towards his father. The middle finger was used twice to equally profane effect. A Russian cabbie misunderstands a comment of John’s and asks him if he wants to go to a “sex club”.
Sex/Nudity: Mild. Very early in the picture, in a nightclub, many women are dressed seductively, one motorcycles in wearing leather and begins to change, however the scene ends, and the same woman is soon being embraced by a man, but they go no further.
Before the trial, Chagarin visits his former friend, and Komarov tells him, “I’m prepared to pay for my sins, are you prepared to pay for yours?”
The Bible is clear that, “…there is no one who does not sin” (1 Kings 8:46), and whether or not Komarov is serious about paying for his sins, we can take comfort that the one true God paid the price already. Thus did John the Baptist say when he first saw Jesus, and later the Apostle Paul explains further in his letter to the Hebrews.
“Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people;, and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him” (Hebrews 9:27-28).
Filmgoers drawn to the “Die Hard” franchise have enjoyed over-the-top action scenes accented by Bruce Willis’s trademark wisecracks, but this movie introduces a new dynamic—that of a father and his son.
Komarov admits that he wasn’t there much as a father for his daughter, and, in a moment, of frankness John admits to likewise working too much and wishing he had spent more time with Jack.
Spending most of his life on the police force has taken its toll on John’s relationship with his son, and it shows in how Jack bristles with resentment and repeatedly calls his father by his first name. We do all well to remember the Word of God when it says,
“Each of you must respect his mother and father” (Leviticus 19:3).
Likewise, John had a responsibility not to foster an environment that would end up pushing his son away. The Word also speaks to this:
“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).
Bruce Willis has now been playing this character for 25 years and seems often detached and less involved in the role. This may be partially attributed to the necessary sharing of screen time with his “son,” but it is still a weak point, as was the direction overall. An over focus on action for action’s sake without regard to back story or character motivations also hampered the film’s narrative.
As the fifth entry in the Die Hard series “A Good Day to Die Hard” is, I believe, the weakest. A solid action movie in it’s own right, one can’t help but compare it to its predecessors. Whereas the other four films all had villains whose plans were executed with a surgical precision that only a wild card like John McClane could thwart, the Russians here are mere extensions of their vehicles (tanks, copters) relying on pure blunt force. A strong rated “R”, I hesitantly recommend this only to die-hard fans, like myself, who have a steadfast heart and can go in with lower expectations.
Violence: Extreme / Profanity: Extreme / Sex/Nudity: Moderate
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.