As The Cult Den celebrates one of the most famous faces in film, I remember my five favourite Bruce Willis performances.
The most recent of my selections, Rian Johnson’s time travel flick ‘Looper’ was a mind-bending success. Set in 2044, Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) plies his trade as an assassin picking off targets sent back in time. Confused? Bruce Willis plays an old Joe sent back to be killed by his younger self, which would in turn also mean his younger self would cease to exist. If you don’t want to think about it too much, you can at least enjoy the efforts of the make-up team transforming JGL into a young Willis.
When you think of Bruce Willis, there’s a good chance the first film you will think of is Die Hard. As officer John McClane, his far-fetched antics wowed audiences around the world and despite the varying success of the various sequels, it will always go down as one of his crowning moments. Yippee Ki Yay!
Who can forget Bruce Willis’ performance as Harry Stamper, the leader of the Freedom shuttle drill team? Michael Bay’s sci-fi disaster thriller was big, bold and ridiculous, as was the all-star cast. However, that takes nothing away from the powerful closing scenes which see Willis make the ultimate sacrifice for the greater good. What a hero!
The Sixth Sense
The surprise ending so publicised that it sort of failed to surprise anyone, Bruce Willis gave a memorable performance as child psychologist Dr Malcolm Crowe in M. Night Shyamalan’s supernatural chiller The Sixth Sense. When he meets nine year old patient Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment), he tries to help him with his unusual problem, leading to the much parodied line ‘I see dead people’.
Quentin Tarantino’s crime epic quickly became a cult classic but sadly Bruce Willis’ part as boxer Butch Coolidge is often overlooked. In an famously structured non-linear narrative, his section entitled The Gold Watch is wedged in between tales of a dysfunctional contract killer duo but despite perhaps not being as iconic, for me it showcases Willis at his very best. When Butch double crosses the local mob boss, his carefully planned getaway plan goes sodomitically awry!