The Hits and Shits of… Bruce Willis

The Hits & Shits of… Bruce Willis

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.

The Hits

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.

Unbreakable (2000)

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.

The Shits

Mercury Rising (1998)

It’ll be our little secret, Simon. Quick now’

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.

Armageddon (1998)

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.

Hostage (2005)

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.

Bruce: ‘I so gotta rent Swordfish!’


15 Responses to The Hits and Shits of… Bruce Willis

  1. Filmfella Darren says:

    Bruce Willis is a very limited actor – but what he lacks in range, he makes up for in presence and likability. As he edges towards his sixties, he could find a niche as a world weary action star – who wears a look on his face suggesting he is too old for this shit. It worked for him in the recent Red and probably will work again in Red 2. I think you did find a number of the Willis hits though Lozz, but you did omit my favourite Bruce Willis film – Twelve monkeys. He is terrific in that totally underrated Gilliam film. I also like his performance in Death becomes her. The list of his shits could have run and run. Have you seen how bad he is in a film called Color of night? What about the time Willis almost permanently ruined his career when he dressed up as a pink Easter bunny for the cringe-worthy North? That has to be the worst Bruce Willis movie ever. He just collaborated with Wes Anderson for Moonrise Kingdom – that was a savvy move. Have you seen him in Moonrise Kingdom yet?

    • Filmfella Lozz says:

      Hey man. I think Bruce has actually diversified his roles quite a lot in last few years. Of course there’s gonna be bunk in a career as long as his, and he’s still going strong. Have you seen the trailer for Looper? Really interesting looking sci-fi with Joseph Gordon Levitt too.

      Was absolutely thinking about 12 Monkeys; but I would’ve just gone about Brad Pitt in it. Personally, a better performance in my opinion.

      Didn’t catch Moonrise Kingdom. Really wanted to, and I do like Wes Anderson.

  2. Many hits and shits from old Willis there. I like him in his cameo’s. Yes, he is cool then. He makes me feel like i could actually watch 90 minutes o’Willis. But anything more, most of the time i’m just lost on him.

    Simply put, i think has been extremely type cast. 75% of his films, he is a cop. Just thinking of two you missed out being Surrogates (definite shits!) and 13 Blocks (not sure on this one). Cop. Unless he’s foul-mouthing some bad guys and on the verge of death for the majority of the film, i just don’t like him.

    • Filmfella Lozz says:

      Granted, Bruce is a cop in 50% of the movies in the list. But one of those was John McClane. And he’s frickin’ awesome.

      His cameos are usually amusing little characters; like the army dude in Planet Terror or that dude in Four Rooms.

      Agreed; Surrogates and 21 Blocks were ass.

  3. Kevin Smith says:

    I would have liked to have seen ‘Lucky Number Slevin’ on this list for ‘Hits’. This was a cracker and Bruce played a great role in this one. Great list anyway FilmFellaLozz! Keep them coming!

    • filmfellajames says:

      Lozz, your blog made me laugh, because BRUCE WILLIS IS AWESOME IN EVERYTHING!!!

      That is all.


      • Filmfella Lozz says:

        Jim, Bruce IS not awesome in everything. You obviously didn’t read the shit list. Why don’t you tell me why he’s awesome in all of those toss burgers, then. Yo

    • Filmfella Lozz says:

      Why thank you, Kev. There will definitely be more Hitting and Shitting for sure. Any suggestions for people to be hitted and shitted?

      Yeah, Lucky Number Slevin. I do remember liking it. But I saw it once and I’ve never gone back. So, maybe that suggests it can be niether a hit or a shit.

  4. steven says:

    hits should have included – 12 Monkeys, Red, The Fifth Element (one of his greatest films ever) also, i thought Lucky Number Slevin was amazing as well, but i got a bit of a man crush on josh so that may be why i like it so much 🙂

    • Filmfella Lozz says:

      You have a crush on Hartnet; even though in every scene in every film he looks like being blinded by the sun? Even in the rain.

      Red was ok. Malkovich was great in it. Fifth Element is also only ok. Oldman is awesome, as always.

  5. steven says:

    next thing i know you will start loving ghosts of mars like jim, red was ok, lol, your being a silly billy!!

    • Filmfella Lozz says:

      That’s never gonna happen Steve. I have been mocking James about his love of Ghost of Mars ever since we saw it way back when. How can a movie be good when the baddies have finger piercings?! What the shit is that about?

  6. steven says:


  7. Mark Walker says:

    Gotta go with 12 Monkeys Lozz. I’m astonished it’s not a hit. I actually think it’s Willis’ finest performance also. Okay, he’s not known for his acting chops but he’s excellent in it. Still overshadowed by a superb Brad Pitt but still a great show from him. Excellent film.

    • Filmfella Lozz says:

      This 12 Monkeys business eh. Yeah, in my personal opinion, the movie is better than Willis’ performance. But I actually prefer him in Unbreakable though, for more of a drama role. But now he’s just gonna go n’ do more sequels; being R.E.D 2, G.I. Joe 2 and Die Hard 5! Bad Bruce.

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