Six Of The Best: Bruce Willis

With a winning combination of movie star swagger, effortless charisma and a tongue planted firmly in his cheek, Bruce Willis has been entertaining audiences around the globe for over thirty years now. Whilst action is the first genre that springs on mentioning his name, Willis has frequently crossed genres, proving himself just as at home fronting comedies, dramas and thrillers as well. His latest film, Precious Cargo, sees Willis make a rare appearance as the villain of the piece, portraying  murderous crime boss Eddie, the thorn in the side of our heroes (Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Claire Forlani). Lets look back at some of the great man’s finest moments.

Looper (2012)

looper 1Willis takes the lead role alongside Joseph Gordon-Levitt in this critically lauded, mind-bending sci-fi crime thriller. Set in a future where time travel exists but is only used a formed of execution, Looper follows our hero, Joe (Willis) who learns that the mob want to close his particular loop by sending him 30 years back in time where is former self will kill him. Sure, critics derided the prosthetics used to make Levitt look like Willis but the premise, performances and a killer twist all mark this out as one of Willis’ finest hours.

Sin City (2005)

sin_city_Based on the acclaimed comic series by Frank Miller, Sin City comes to life in a live-action feature from director Robert Rodriguez. The stylised crime noir interweaves multiple storylines from the series’ history as it explores the den of iniquity and misery that is Basin City. With so many standout performances fans were hard-pressed to settle on a favourite moment, but Willis’s portrayal of John Hartigan, a noble man prepared to stop at nothing to defend the woman he loves, drew widespread admiration from all who saw the film.

 The Sixth Sense (1999)

sixth-senseThe film that brought us one of the most memorable lines in cinema (“I see dead people”), also saw action hero Willis deviate from type and dip his toe, very successfully, into the realms of supernatural horror. He stars as Dr Malcolm Crowe, a child psychologist attempting to cure a young boy (Haley Joel-Osment) who claims to be able to communicate with spirits who are unaware that they’re dead. Willis shocked his critics in portraying Crowe, delivering a sensitive and haunted performance that helped The Sixth Sense become 1999’s second highest grossing film whilst also attracting six Academy Award nominations.

Twelve Monkeys (1995)

Twelve_MonkeysIn yet another critically acclaimed film, Willis’ portrays James Cole, a prisoner of the state in the year 2035, thirty years after a deadly virus wipes out 99% of the population. Cole is however, able to earn parole if he agrees to travel back in time and thwart the plague. Due to the virus, the remainder of Earth’s population have to live underground because of the poisonous air. Wills’ gives a captivating and riveting performance that demonstrates a wide range of emotions and versatility that critics and audience members had not seen from him before. An added bonus was Brad Pitt who gave a Golden Globe-winning performance as Jeffery Goines.

Pulp Fiction (1994)

pulp-fictionTarantino’s second movie, and arguably even more loved than Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction follows two mob hitmen, a boxer, a gangster’s wife and a pair of diner bandits as they intertwine in four tales of violence and redemption. Sure, Willis might only play a minor role as boxer-on-the-run Butch Coolidge, but his performance combined physical comedy and some fairly hefty dramatic chops, calling many critics to cite this as his comeback film after a run of less than successful ventures.

 Die Hard (1988)

john-mcclane-zippo-lighter-die-hard-blu-ray-capArguably Willis’ most iconic performance, this action classic introduces audiences to John McClain, an NYPD cop who decides to visit his estranged wife in Los Angeles in an attempt to reconcile with her. However during a visit to her offices, a group of terrorists storm the building – and only McLain can save the day. Spawning four sequels, and with a fifth in the offing, Die Hard arguably colours the public’s perception of Willis more than any other film in his catalogue, as well as being responsible for some of the most repeated lines in movie history. Yippee ki-yay mother


John McArthur
Latest posts by (see all)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.