So, let’s trace this; Bruce Willis has moved from working in bars, to being a TV star on Moonlighting, to being an action star. A natural progression if there ever was one, yes? With that kind of mobility and fortitude, it’s no wonder that Willis has been able to overcome notorious critical and box office bombs like Hudson Hawk and The Bonfire of the Vanities to remain an in-demand, respected, and marketable actor.
10). Over the Hedge
Willis must have taken the lessons he learned from the Look Who’s Talking? movies and applied them to his voice acting in this film, starring as the film’s protagonist R.J., a cunning raccoon with a heart of gold.
M. Night Shyamalan’s follow up to The Sixth Sense proved that, for all his other filmmaking quirks, he at least knows how to stick with a good thing in teaming up with Willis again, this time as an unexpected superhero.
8). The Whole Nine Yards
Willis has never been known as a completely humorless clod; but, he doesn’t tend to show up in many straight-up comedies. But here, as a hit man with a sense of humor, Willis manages to meld menace and mirth effectively.
While the film is renowned at NASA as astoundingly inaccurate, even gaining usage as a training tool, Willis as the lead driller on a team recruited to save the world can never be wrong.
6). Die Hard With a Vengeance
Though still profitable, Die Hard 2: Die Harder was a lackluster follow-up to the original. This film, which pairs Willis with Samuel L. Jackson and Jeremy Irons, brought new life to the franchise and proved the springboard for the recent fourth sequel and the rumored upcoming one.
5). Sin City
In this adaptation of the Frank Miller graphic novel, Willis provides the heart of the film, as the lead actor in the bookending segments of the film and by far the most memorable character.
4). The Fifth Element
This sci-fi epic is a perfect example of good and bad type casting. On the one hand, what better role could Bruce Willis play than a cab driver trying to save the world? On the other hand, what worse role could Chris Tucker play than an annoying radio talk show host? It’s a good thing Willis is there to save it.
3). Twelve Monkeys
The guy from Die Hard and the cartoonist for Monty Python making a movie together sounds like the set-up for a “two guys walked into a bar” joke. But, Willis’ role as a time-traveling convict proves that the concept isn’t the least bit funny.
2). The Sixth Sense
Even if this is the film that made people think that M. Night Shyamalan knew how to direct, Willis’ portrayal of a doctor seeking to help a boy who sees dead people makes Shyamalan’s later screen atrocities worth it and brings this genuinely suspenseful thriller to its proper lifer.
1). Die Hard
The standard by which all future action movies are measured, an unlikely Christmas classic, and the film that brought Alan Rickman to the attention of audiences everywhere, the film is held together by Bruce Willis as John McClane. Yippe-ki-yay!
One has to wonder how many years Bruce, at age 55, has left as an action star. But, if Harrison Ford can still play Indiana Jones at 60, then Bruce Willis should be able to still play John McClane in Die Hard XII: The Nursing Home Heist.