On March 30, it became known that Hollywood actor Bruce Willis is ending his acting career. Blame it all on progressive aphasia, which leads to impaired speech, the ability to read and understand words. In this regard, we decided to recall the most iconic roles of the Last Boy Scout, thanks to which he won our hearts and became known throughout the world.
- Release date: 1988
- Director: John McTiernan
- Box office: $ 140.7 million
It is no coincidence that we started with “Strong Nut”. This was Willis’ first and truly great work. Prior to that, he had to interrupt episodic roles in “Miami Police”, “Twilight Zone”, “Detective Agency” Moonlight “and so on. In 1987, the movie “Blind Date” was released, in which Willis starred. However, neither critics nor viewers were delighted with the film. But a year later, “Hard Nut” is released, which literally knocks Bruce into the Hollywood Premier League.
No one relied on the film, and everyone predicted it would fail. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone resigned from the lead role, John McClain. Bruce was called solely for lack of alternatives, but was given an impressive $ 5 million check, which most of the film crew was skeptical about. Five months later, they launched a promotional campaign focusing on the film’s location, the Nakatomi Plaza skyscraper. On July 12, 1988, the tape went on limited release and received mixed reviews from critics.
Reviewers scolded the violence and action, but at the same time praised the acting of Willis and Alan Rickman, who played the antagonist, Hans Gruber. The audience, on the contrary, liked the story of a misguided but clever detective. A solid box office prompted the studio to release the picture for wide distribution, where it collected an impressive box office for its time – $ 141.5 million.
The secret of the film’s success is very simple: “Hard Nut” came out at a time when there was a strict fragmentation of genres such as action movies and comedies. John McTiernan’s directorial work not only combined the two most popular trends, but also broke the stereotype of a typical image of an action hero. To become a hero, it is not necessary to shoot lasers from the eyes or be able to fly, it is enough to have a big and kind heart.
“Death to her face”
- Release date: 1992
- Director: Robert Zemekis
- Box office: $ 149 million
In the satirical black comedy “Death to Her Face” Bruce Willis appeared to many in a very unusual role. Here he no longer played a good policeman, but a plastic surgeon in a binge. The film was shot by Robert Zemeckis, who originally wanted to call for the role of Jeff Bridges or Kevin Klein.
The picture itself was a breakthrough for its time, if we talk about computer graphics. Industrial Light & Magic, which was responsible for all the visual effects, had to combine different methods with image, including chromakey and animatronics. And in the end it turned out to be a masterpiece for many years.
- Release date: 2000
- Director: M. Knight Shyamalan
- Box office: $ 672 million
Willis almost rediscovered himself in M. Knight Shyamalan’s 1999 film The Sixth Sense. Bruce plays Malcolm Crowe, a child psychologist who begins working with a little boy named Cole Cheer. The child claims to be able to see dead people. In many ways, Willis’s merit is not only in his acting, but also in how he helps the young man to reveal himself.
Instead of playing with his muscles and charisma, Willis demonstrates his drama skills and plays a rather mundane character. Many still remember the famous ending not so much because of the plot twist, but because of how it was filed and played by Willis.
- Release date: 2005
- Director: Frank Miller
- Box office: $ 158 million
The film adaptation of the series of comics by Frank Miller by Robert Rodriguez is rich in cast. But, despite the presence of Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba, Clive Owen, Benicio Del Toro, Bruce Willis stands out the most. His character John Hartigan, like John McClain, is positioned from the beginning as a hero who wants to punish bad guys. He is ready to risk his life and freedom to ensure the safety of a little girl who is threatened by a murderer.
For all the time, Hartigan does not appear on the screen so often. But his every tiny presence was always accompanied by a quote from Max Payne’s best tradition: “The old man dies, the girl stays alive.” An honest exchange. “
- Release date: 1996
- Director: Terry Gilliam
- Box office: $ 168.8 million
In the film “12 monkeys”, shot by a former member of the music group “Monty Python”, Willis got an experimental role. He plays prisoner James Cole, who was sent to the past to find the source of a deadly virus that is destroying humanity in the present.
The cast turned out to be no less intriguing than the plot. Along with Willis, he played Brad Pitt, who was nominated for an Oscar, although his role was quite controversial. But Bruce’s rematch gave the film seriousness, and it was in those places where he needed it. Willis did not particularly work with arthouse directors, so his participation in such a picture is perceived as a rare phenomenon.
- Release date: 1997
- Director: Luke Besson
- Box office: $ 263.2 million
Initially, the director of “The Fifth Element” Luke Besson invented history and the world from boredom at the age of 16. The first presentation of design documents was unsuccessful. Luke asked for a crazy $ 100 million at the time, but the studio bosses did not believe in the success of the picture. Unusual visual style and design did not impress them either.
At the same time, Besson considered both Mel Gibson (who immediately turned her down) and Bruce Willis for the lead role. He was already interested in participating, but was afraid to agree, as there was still a fresh memory of the failed releases of “Hudson’s Hawk” and “Billy Bathgate”. After Beson’s “Leon” resounded around the world, the studio approved the filming of “The Fifth Element”. And by absolute chance, Luke met Bruce and persuaded him to play the lead role.
French futuristic comedy did not take root in the West, although it collected a large box office. But for Russian viewers, “The Fifth Element” has become almost a cult film on the same level as the series “Taxi”.
- Release date: 1994
- Director: Quentin Tarantino
- Box office: $ 213.9 million
Quentin Tarantino’s “Criminal Readings” became a cult hit in 1994. Critics have praised it as a true postmodern work that stands at the origins of modern cinema. There are many bright episodes and characters in the film, but most still remember Butch Coolidge.
The story of a rather uncommunicative boxer became cult because of the scene at the crossroads and “revenge”. Willis was the main star, but most of his recent films were cool. Participation in the tape with a modest budget can hit not only the fee, but also the rest of the star status. As we know, it was worth it. Even Tarantino himself said that he saw only Bruce in the role of Butch: “He looks like an actor of the 50s. I can’t think of any other star with that look. “