A Day to Die (Action, Crime, Drama) (2022)
Director: Wes Miller
Writer: Rab Berry, Scott Mallace
Stars: Kevin Dillon, Bruce Willis, Gianni Capaldi, Vernon Davis
Highly indebted to a drug kingpin, Connor Connolly (Kevin Dillon) teams up with his old partners from his days as a special ops team to collect the money he needs to pay his debt and rescue his pregnant wife, who’s being held for leverage.
Made by up-and-coming director Wes Miller comes ‘’A Day to Die’’ featuring Bruce Willis and Kevin Dillon, among others. His vision is to tell an American story through flawed characters. The film was shot in Jackson, Mississippi. ‘’A Day to Die’’ has been produced by Blue Box Entertainment, Sweet Unknown South, Hood River Entertainment, Future Proof Films and High Five Films while distributed by Vertical Entertainment.
Former special operative Connor Connolly has ended up in quite a slump after being dishonourably discharged as a parole officer. And being in enormous debt to a drug lord, his life has strayed far from the tracks, living in a city filled with morally fallible characters and shady dealings. That’ll be as clear of a summary as you’ll get. Wes Miller tries to make an enticing yet sombre crime action flick, but the writing fails him at every step.
While ‘’A Day to Die’’ had to deal with a limited budget, which shows in just about every aspect, it could’ve still carried itself on an intriguing narrative. Yet, writers Scott Malice and Drab Berry, apologies, Rab Berry and Scott Mallace couldn’t handle a good script even if it was written for them. It starts with a special ops team performing a mission; we see some student-grade VFX which could still be acceptable knowing what sort of film we’re watching. Still, afterwards, we jump into something while learning nearly nothing about these characters.
It desperately tries to have the viewer invest in Dillon’s Connor Connolly by introducing his pregnant wife, who’s kidnapped shortly after, but there’s no real reason to care as we haven’t bonded with Connolly in the slightest; the same goes for any other characters in the direct-to-video release.
So the narrative doesn’t provide anything except for confusion, and it’s as generic as they come. Adding to the disappointment, instead of charming janky action you might see in other B-movies delivering some laughs, ‘’A Day to Die’’ keeps acting like it’s a serious crime thriller.
Perhaps we’ll see Wes Miller in the future on some bigger productions, as I want to end on a positive note; his vision could bear fruit. ‘’A Day to Die’’ ends up as one of many post-career Willis budget flick flops, a generic plot and a minimal budget that belongs in the bargain bin on release day.
A day I would’ve rather died.