The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: Bruce Willis

Zoë Godden takes a look at the career of the Bruce Willis and compiles the definitive list of his good, bad and downright ugly films.

7th December 2015

The Good: Die Hard (1988)

Rightfully considered one of the greatest action movies ever made, Die Hard propelled Bruce Willis into Hollywood stardom, going against his previous typecasting as a comedic television actor.

There’s still lots of fun to be had though, with Willis’ now iconic take as the vest-wearing, catchphrase-quoting John McClane giving the film the humorous edge it needed. Jumping off an exploding building with a fire hose is of course ludicrously awesome, but Willis is able to ground the film with a surprisingly human performance that makes us want him to kick ass even more. What else can be said other than “yippee-ki-yay, motherfucker”?

The Bad: Look Who's Talking Too (1990)

Littered with poop jokes and other lacklustre writing, this sequel stars Willis once again as Mikey, a toddler who subconsciously commentates on his everyday observations.

Although the first film had some charm thanks to Willis’ comedic quips, here we’re faced with a mundane sibling rivalry, all whilst parents Kirstie Alley and John Travolta (in another of his bad movie phases) squabble over insignificant family matters. The adult voiceovers are now tedious to endure, as we’re forced to listen to Mikey ramble about every minuscule detail – do we really need to know his thoughts on potty training? The dubbing is so atrocious it may as well have been recorded in Willis’ garage; it’s enough to put anybody off having kids.

The Ugly: Sin City (2005)

Probably cinema’s most faithful comic book adaptation, Robert Rodriguez’s take on Frank Miller’s gritty noir tales of the titular metropolis showcases both groundbreaking visuals and a stylish soundtrack.

Though the film features many notable performances in its interwoven storylines, Willis’ portrayal of Detective Hartigan is his strongest on-screen role to date, sombrely playing a wrongly convicted cop with one last case to close. The ‘ugly’ comes from the film’s hyperbolic gory violence (think decapitation and cannibalism), with Hartigan’s retribution being no exception – killing the paedophile who imprisoned him by tearing off his genitals and beating his face to a mushy pulp; ouch.

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