The Hits and Shits of… Bruce Willis
July 8, 2012 15 Comments
I grew up with Bruce Willis. You know, I didn’t actually grow up with him; he wasn’t my pal or neighbour or anything. Although, that would’ve been pretty darn cool. But, Bruce and Arnold formed the basis of my early years of movie watching. Back in the days when he had hair and said motherfucker a lot. Those were the days. An unlikely action hero, when considering his competition at the time; muscle-bound meatheads like Stallone. Though, he still prevailed as one of the best action heroes created. I’ll come to him later. That would’ve never happened had he not gone with ‘Bruce’; isn’t that right Walter?! Even though the nineties were unkind to Walter…sorry, Bruce, he’s come through them and actually diversified his roles entirely. And he’s worked with the most original directors out there; ones on top of their game. But then there are the most atrocious pieces of celluloid crap. Bad Wally. And so, here are the hits and the shits of Mr. Walter (Bruce) Willis.
Die Hard (1988)
Die Hard, possibly the best action film ever made? It’s up there, for sure. If you haven’t seen it, go away. Come back, but go away and watch this movie first. It’s the tale of a hero in the shape of John McClane; the one man against a gang of (I think) German terrorists. Set on Christmas Eve, Hans Gruber’s miscreant baddies enter the L.A. skyscraper to break into a vault and take some hostages. But Bruce ain’t having none o’ that. Full of explosions, fisticuffs, bullets, neck breaks, Alan Rickman and completely unnecessary nudity. Not a nude Rickman; that would be wrong. This is probably in my top 10 movies of all time. ‘Yippee Ki Yay, Motherfucker’.
Pulp Fiction (1994)
So, an odd choice for both actor and director here. But Quentin Tarantino does have a habit of getting a tiptop performance from his actors. Willis is Butch the boxer, who gets caught up in something none of us would ever wanna get caught up in. That’s being ball-gagged and suffering the prospect of getting raped by a cop. Anyone else, fine. But a cop, no thanks. The picture shows Butch getting his own back on Zed the rapist. What is it with Bruce Willis getting his clothes all messy? Once again, if you haven’t seen this, then go away. Simple.
The Sixth Sense (1999)
M. Night Shyamalan’s first feature here with Bruce flexing his dramatic muscles. Even though he looks rather perplexed in the picture here; he’s rather good in this. It’s all about that kid with a girl’s name who sees dead people. Everyone’s seen it. Everyone knows that Bruce is dead; but it is a cleverly crafted movie with, still, one of the best twist endings ever devised. It’s one of those movies that’s actually better the second time you watch it. He started on a high, but then again, this was before Shyamalan went shit. The Last Airbender; more like The last Movie I’ll Ever Make.
The following year, same collaboration, better outcome. Unbreakable is Shyamalan’s best movie. I would say ‘to date’, but let’s face it, after writing himself in as the Jesus Christ character in Lady in the Water, people kinda think he’s just a nob, now. So, this is a superhero story in its simplest form. Just a guy who can’t be hurt learning that he’s a hero, as Sam Jackson’s maniac causes disasters to find his nemesis. It incorporates all superhero movie clichés, but it’s tied up in a nice character drama. Good stuff Bruce.
Sin City (2005)
I love this movie. One of the first movies solely made in front of a green screen. Based upon Frank Miller’s graphic novels, Robert Rodriguez made the most visceral and aesthetically awesome adaptation possible, including a stellar cast. Willis is Hartigan, the cop with a dicky ticker, who’s one mission in life is to protect the life of Nancy the stripper; the girl who he saved as a little girl from a pedophile rapist. This list isn’t all about Bruce, mind you; it’s more about his choice of movie. It’s likely that he was cast because Rodriguez is mates with Tarantino; but either way, Sin City is a great movie. My girlfriend hates it. Which means it must be good.
Mercury Rising (1998)
On the surface, not a bad movie; if not just a conventional story about baddies after a goodie, and another goodie protecting the original goodie. Anyway, it’s all to do with this autistic kid who cracks a top-secret government code. And so the government wants to kill him. Of course they do. What the movie doesn’t consider is that if one person can crack it, more people can crack it. So, they’re just gonna kill everyone who’s smarter than the government?! That could take a while. It’s just stupid, and I don’t want to talk about it anymore, so there.
So, you may be surprised to find this on the shit list, but as much as I have to admit I enjoy it, it really is a bad movie. Bruce is Harry, an oil rigger, who’s asked if he and his team will go on a rocket, land on a meteor, drill into it, put a bomb in it, explode it, and fly away fa la la l’ la. Easy. Fucking ludicrous. Full of emotional drivel, Armageddon is rubbish. It’s also about an hour n’alf too long. Bruce sold out.
He’s much better than this too! Honestly don’t remember too much about this movie, other than the fact that it’s shit. Ok, ok; Bruce is a hostage negotiator and he’s tasked with negotiating with some asshole teenagers who hold some rich guy’s family at gunpoint. Anyway, Bruce had very little to work with in this movie, both character and plot are terrible. What; a couple of douches are able to break their way into a mansion with a state of the art security system in place? Yes. And even though Bruce was able to climb through some elevator shafts and jump off a building with a hosepipe wrapped around him in the middle of an explosion, he cannot fathom how to get into a house. Different movie, but you know what I mean.
Perfect Stranger (2007)
Why Bruce, why? This movie was god damn awful. Halle Berry goes undercover at Bruce’s advertising agency, because she suspects him of killing her mate. He’s just a typical sexual harassment charge waiting to happen, but in all honesty, that’s as interesting as his character gets. This was Walter Willis. Not Bruce ‘fuckin’ Die Hard’ Willis. However, the writers of the movie should’ve been shot for writing this, and it’s where I place most blame. It’s kind of like, you know what we told you for the last 90 minutes, well, we lied. None of it’s true. It’s not like it’s a twist ending or anything. It’s literally, haha; we fooled you. Because we didn’t show you this bit earlier, when it actually happened. It’s silly and implausible. Plus, Bruce looks stupid with hair, now; he rocks the shiny head.
Cop Out (2010)
Yay, that’s what I’m talking about; Bruce rocking the shiny head. That’s as good as it get though folks. Kevin Smith doing a movie with Bruce Willis and that guy called Tracey from 30 Rock should’ve been funny. It wasn’t. (What is it with Bruce co-starring with guys who have girls’ names?!) Even a cameo from Sean William Scott couldn’t improve this. Bruce is a cop hunting down some people who stole a valuable baseball card from him; the one that he was gonna sell to pay for his daughter’s wedding. The premise just sucks. When a funny movie makes the mistake of becoming annoying is where I should’ve stopped watching, but no. I even gave this a second go, just in case I missed something. I Didn’t.
So there you have it. When Bruce does shit, it’s really shit. When it’s a hit, it’s awesome. Agree? Disagree? What have I missed? Make some noise people.