Saturday 5 March 2022

REVIEW: A Day to Die (2022) - Starring Kevin Dillon, Bruce Willis and Frank Grillo

Review by Jon Donnis
A new Bruce Willis film you say? What an unusual thing these days. In what I believe is the 46th film to feature Bruce Willis, released in 2022, I could almost just copy and paste my last review of a Bruce Willis film, that was way back on Friday, a whole 2 days ago! But hang on a moment, this film has "Die" in the title! Could it be a new Die-Hard film? No. Sorry about the tease, couldn't resist.

The film starts off surprising quite hot, with a hostage situation at a college in mid flow, fancy SWAT like team brought in to solve the crisis. The team includes Mason (Frank Grillo) and Connor (Kevin Dillon). Of course, everything goes wrong, the hostage takers are crazy white supremacist types, that are well armed, the police try to enter, but there are other people with rocket launchers nearby, big explosions follow, helicopter blown out of the sky, with some slightly dodgy special effects, a landmine that a hostage taker uses to kill himself and a load of cops, and before you know it we are fast forwarded to the future.

Connor (Kevin Dillon) is now a parole officer, and when one of the people he is in charge of is attacked he gets involved which results in the attacker being killed. That attacker was a drug dealer and worked for the local big gang boss Pettis played by the super cool Leon Robinson. The boss is pissed off as he has lost one of his dealers, and blackmails Connor into paying him the money that the dealer would have made over his "career". Connor's pregnant wife is taken, and Connor now needs to get in contact with some old friends, and rob some people to get the money, which quickly turns the film into a heist movie.

Did I mention that Bruce Willis is in the film? He plays city Police Chief Alston, who is also on the payroll of the drugs boss. 

This is very much a Kevin Dillon film, he is the lead, he is the one you care about, and he is the one that takes part in the most action. As is often the case the big name of the film, Bruce Willis most likely completed all of his scenes in a few days, and picked up a nice pay check I am sure.

The Good
We like to make fun of Bruce Willis knocking out hundreds of films a year, but this is actually a half decent action film.

The dodgy CGI is kept to a minimum, the dialog is decent, and Kevin Dillon is a likeable lead character, who you do want to come out on top. And Leon Robinson as the drug Lord is perfect casting. Leon Robinson is just so cool!

I also need to mention the rather cool sound track, lots of great tunes to get your blood pumping.

The Bad
The film is full of clich├ęs, the Police Chief being on Pettis' pay is given away way too early in the film, and should have been kept as a twist.

At 1 hour 40 minutes, the film isn't too long, and is actually pretty good Saturday Night viewing.

I score A Day to Die a fair to middling 7/10

Out now at selected cinemas and digital -