The shipyard painter, political activist and razor-sharp cartoonist Bob Starrett has just written a new book The Way I See It on his eventful life and times. Below we reprint one of his stories and review an essential read
Facefacts. Bruce is back and it's going to be a box-office smash.
Introduced in Die Hard in 1988, Bruce Willis starred as the wisecracking, all-action maverick NYC cop John McClane who trashed Tinseltown to save his estranged wife.
In subsequent outings in the franchise, he's smashed up a snowbound Washington, bashed up his beloved Big Apple and taken to task internet terrorists threatening to shut down the US homeland.
The formula is simple. McClane's a working-class, patriotic cop who hates authority and who's constantly called on to save the state of the nation while trying to deal with family problems.
In this run-out, as the US wages global war, the balding and battered hero gets an opportunity to visit foreign fields when his daughter tells him his son is imprisoned in a Russian jail. "Dad, don't make a mess," she impresses on McClane as she hands him a copy of the Idiots' Guide To Moscow.
Cut to our hero in a Moscow traffic jam with a chatty cabbie singing Sinatra.
Advised to walk two blocks, you know it's an invitation to wander off the track. He gatecrashes a complex case which includes discovering that son John (Jai Courtney) is a chip off the old block.
Except that he's a CIA operative who works by the book in trying to foil a plot to exploit Russia's nuclear arms. The last thing he wants is help from a fucked-up father he refuses to call dad.
Their relationship is mirrored in their protagonists, a former Russian criminal-cum-whistleblower Komarov (Sebastian Koch) and his beautiful, scheming daughter Irina (Yuliya Snigir).
What follows is a great stock car race through the streets of Moscow during which former Soviet symbols of power get smashed up. Whatever. The important thing is that the McClanes bond in a breathtaking battle to affirm US foreign policy.