Movies of recent years Bruce Willis and a fall for the superstar

Bruce Willis’ filmography is hard to keep track of, especially since 2015. In recent years, the star’s IMDb page has swelled with a flood of action productions, including the occasional ambitious work like “Motherless Brooklyn” or “Glass.” Let’s introduce a few of these titles: Hard Kill came out after First Kill, and Trauma Center is set in… a trauma center. But really, if you mix Reprisal with Marauders or Acts of Violence with Breach, it makes perfect sense. These movies may have different stories, but they seem to be the same. Willis is sick and can no longer act, but it is not known why he is acting in these watery movies and what the producers did with this movie legend.

Among his recent films, Breach, a horror film set in space, differs in several ways from Bruce Willis’ ever-growing body of filmography.

The first thing is that Willis is actually in this movie. He appears as one of the crew, helping Cody Kressley (Riverdale) fight a parasite that turns people into murderous giants. It’s rare that Willis commits to these VOD films. Because he often shows himself in these works for fifteen minutes and that’s it! In fact, this star rents his fame, not his actual presence.

But more important than Willis’s entrances and exits is that Breach is watchable, meaning it’s not so bad we can’t stand it. An average quality that rarely happens among these works. If you’re not familiar with Alien or John Carpenter’s The Thing (from which Breach borrows heavily), you might be surprised by a scene from Breach. In just a few scenes, we see Thomas Jane’s unbridled and overdramatic acting, causing chaos in a spaceship with his sunglasses.

As Jeff Ross said at the 2018 Bruce Willis Comedy Central event, “You’re like Elmer Fudd if he hunted bad scripts instead of Bugs Bunny.”

Movies of recent years Bruce Willis and a fall for the superstar - Vigiato
Bruce Willis in the movie Breach.

Granted, these movies are mostly bad, and I’m not happy to admit it, but I really wanted at least some of them to be enjoyable, and not just because I’m a huge fan of the inimitable action star and popular character actor John. McClane, but also because I love B-movies and know they can be admirable. At their best, they display an ingenuity and resourcefulness that I prefer to the commercial, popcorn Hollywood productions. They also often make room for quirky, sarcastic performances (I must repeat that Thomas Jane is wearing sunglasses in space).

After reading several articles about the low quality and ridiculous stories of these movies and the presence of Bruce Willis in them, I decided to watch them myself to see if they are really as terrible as everyone says.

Watching a dozen of Willis’ films over the past half-decade, patterns emerged. What impressed me the most is how much these works rely on guns and guns. Not just because in this isolated and empty cinematic ecosystem, violence is always associated with firearms, and vice versa, but because guns and rifles cast a shadow over everything. I’ve seen more shootings in these movies than I can count. Pointless shootouts between over-bulleted muscle characters and ridiculously awful aiming. Hard Kill (2020), which was one of the worst movies of this category, actually starts with such a show, very soon the whole story falls apart and nothing makes sense.

The image these movies have of masculinity is dangerous or at least disturbing. It’s quite strange, to be honest, because Bruce Willis in his prime didn’t look like the typical action hero. He didn’t have a super big body, or he didn’t have the looks and principles of people like Sylvester Stallone, Arnold, or Jean-Claude Van Damme. He was the epitome of an ordinary man who suddenly becomes a star.

Bruce Willis
Bruce Willis and Claire Forlani in Precious Cargo.

Of course, I understand, this is all a fantasy. But from a purely cinematic point of view, the problem is that the violence resulting from these random shootings destroys any attempt at a proper story. Why think about the story when you can start and seal your movie with shooting scenes?! These movies are incredibly boring because they show everything. Actually, because there is nothing in the script. There are no surprises or twists. They don’t even have interesting action scenes.

As for Willis himself, he usually takes a back seat – often literally. Sometimes he plays men who enter the stage for a minute or two at a time in their suits and judge everyone. Sometimes he plays tired cops or ex-cops who spend too much time on the phone. (More isn’t necessarily better: One of Willis’ biggest roles in recent years was in the 2017 action-comedy Once Upon a Time in Venice, which is downright embarrassing — the one in which he skates naked. )

Mostly, Willis lets the main character do his thing. The best leads that you can’t get sick of watching are the most violent, and perhaps coincidentally, they’ve been in the better movies on this list, like Frank Grillo in Reprisal, Michael Chiklis in 10 Minutes Gone, and Christopher Meloni in Marauders. ». Marauders was released in 2016 and recently appeared on Netflix’s top 10 movies. This movie by Steven C. Miller directed. In all three of his last films, Bruce Willis is present.

Perhaps it’s no coincidence that the films that give good roles to women are above average — except for 2015’s “Extraction,” which goes out of its way to get Gina Carano to enlist the help of Clan Lutz. For example, in Trauma Center (2019), Willis’s character is a woman played by Nikki Whelan, who has to escape from double-crossed cops who try to kill her in a hospital. This is the closest scene to Willis’s Hard Life films.

My favorite was Precious Cargo (2016), a Miami Vice-like story that pits not one but two interesting female characters opposite Willis, played by Claire Forlani and Jenna B. Kelly. Precious Cargo was also the funniest movie of my trip to this part of modern Bruce Willis cinema.

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