Bruce Willis has demonstrated incredible versatility in a career that has included such diverse characterizations as the prizefighter in Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” (1994 Palme D’Or winner at Cannes), the philandering contractor in Robert Benton’s “Nobody’s Fool,” the heroic time traveler in Terry Gilliam’s “12 Monkeys,” the traumatized Vietnam veteran in Norman Jewison’s “In Country,” the compassionate child psychologist in M. Night Shyamalan’s Oscar®-nominated “The Sixth Sense” (for which he won the People’s Choice Award) and his signature role, Detective John McClane, in the “Die Hard” films.
John McClane – the hard-talking detective who always seems to be in the wrong place but doing the right thing – has become one of Hollywood’s iconic characters and Willis has enjoyed the role, reprising it in four sequels. The latest Die Hard movie, “A Good Day To Die Hard” sees McClane in Moscow, searching for his estranged son, Jack (rising Australian star Jai Courtney).
Bruce Willis reprises his iconic role as police detective John McClane in A Good Day to Die Hard, set against the backdrop of deadly corruption and political vendetta in Russia. McClane arrives in Moscow to track down his estranged son, Jack, (Jai Courtney), and is stunned to discover he’s working undercover to protect a government whistleblower, Komarov (Sebastian Koch). With their own necks on the line, the McClanes are forced to overcome their differences in order to get Komarov to safety and thwart a potentially disastrous crime in the most desolate place on Earth – Chernobyl.
Willis is McClane, and he embraced the opportunity to pay another visit to the beloved character that has a habit of finding himself in the wrong place at the right time. Does trouble find John McClane or does John McClane seek it out? “Well, he’s certainly attracted to trouble,” says the actor, “but yes, trouble also seems determined to find him.”
“I find it an interesting exercise to reach for the bar we set with the series, and I enjoy checking in with McClane at different stages in his life,” Willis continues. “In this story, he’s at a point where men tend to reflect on their past. For McClane, it’s the estranged relationship with his son. They haven’t spoken in some time, and the first news he’s received of him is about his arrest in Moscow.”
“This is a twist on the usual scenario in which McClane is the unexpected party guest who ruins some criminal mastermind’s well-conceived plan,” says Young. “This time, he spoils his own son’s painstaking and dangerous undercover operation. With Jack’s cover literally blown, he and his father try to get Komarov safely out of Moscow and into Chernobyl, where he can retrieve the incriminating files that will put Chagarin away. The shell-shocked Russian suddenly finds himself stuck between the feuding McClanes, a more dangerous proposition than prison, as John appears to be half-cocked and fully loaded. But the three men are intent on making their way out of town by any means necessary, and begin to form an uneasy alliance.
Under a hail of gunfire, the McClanes manage a desperate escape, and must regroup to figure out how to get to rescue Komarov, who is now in the hands of Alik’s men. Jack McClane is out of answers, and must turn to John for help.
Says Jai Courtney: “Jack takes a methodical approach to his work, probably out of a backlash to his father’s knack for winging it and hoping for the best. But he’s now in a situation where there’s no book to guide him, he has no answers and is at the breaking point. His dad’s instincts are to never quit, regardless of the cost, and in this terrible situation Jack sees that very clearly – maybe for the first time. It gives Jack deeper insight and respect for John’s values. It’s a turning point.”
Adds executive producer Jason Keller: “John and Jack find themselves off the grid, in deep trouble, with no help. Jack doesn’t know what to do, and his father pulls him back and says that we can do this. And the key moment in the film happens when Jack chooses to swallow his pride and accept John’s help. Now you have two McClanes working together, which is more than our bad guys ever bargained for.”
A Good Day To Die Hard” opens February 13 in more than 200 screens nationwide from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.