Entertainment

Bruce Willis, the long twilight of an explosive career, ended by illness


Hollywood star of the 1990s and 2000s, the 67-year-old actor had been in a slump for almost ten years after having chained the big productions.

American Headquarters, Apex, out of death, Cosmic Sin, Deadlock, Survive the Game… These films, whose titles smack of turnips and direct VOD releases, have in common the screen presence of a recognized Hollywood star: Bruce Willis. The actor’s recent filmography inspired the latest edition of the Razzie Awards to create a special category devoted “to the worst performances of Bruce Willis” . However, as revealed by his family on Wednesday, the actor, suffering from aphasia, has decided to put an end to his career because of serious health problems which would affect his work. “The Razzies are truly sorry for the state of health of Bruce Willisapologized in a press release the direction of the ceremony parodying the Oscars, not without allowing a last spade. This may explain why he wanted to leave with a bang in 2021.

On closer inspection, the last years of Bruce Willis’ career bore a twilight character. The appearances of the actor had become rare in the course of the years 2010. So much so that since Sin City: I Killed For Her , in 2014, the man of action had reappeared in a blockbuster only for M. Night Shyamalan. It was in 2019, in Glass for a role already considered at the time as particularly silent.

Apart from this recent irruption, Bruce Willis has chained the filmic expedients. A heartbreaking succession of action films quickly made and just as quickly forgotten then sticks to his skin. Each bears a name that seems to have come out of a generator in disaggregation of titles for series B. Anthology: Extraction, THE Rush, First Kill, Fortress, Anti Life or simply To survive. So many feature films that went unnoticed. Others stand out because, even in the colorful order of the nanars, there are productions that stand out for their singularity. So comes out in 2018 Sentinels of the Pacific, Chinese film on the Second World War in which Bruce Willis embodies an American volunteer in charge of training pilots of the Republic of China. This “cinematic disaster”as described by several Internet users, was released in France directly on VOD.

From Nakatomi Plaza to the Razzie Awards

Long gone are the days when Bruce Willis was on familiar terms, year after year, with the most prominent (and most viewed) productions in the film industry. Born in 1955, he was 32 in 1987 when he shared a headliner for the first time. His on-screen partner Drink and setbacks is none other than Kim Basinger. The following year, he swapped romantic comedy for thriller with crystal trap better known by its original title: diehard. There he camps John McClane, a cop entangled in spite of himself in a grandiloquent hostage-taking in the fictitious skyscraper of Nakatomi Plaza, on Christmas Eve. A role reminiscent of the one he played in the police series Moonlight. Now considered a cult film, this triumphant box office success directed by American action maestro John McTiernan propelled Bruce Willis among the most prominent and highest paid actors on the circuit. Hardly believable for a guy who had for him neither the pretty face of the young first, nor the steel muscles of the warriors of the 7and art.

Bruce Willis in crystal trap (1988), the first film in the saga diehard. Bridgeman Images

A golden decade then opens for the most mischievous of Hollywood rogues. While participating in the first two sequels to the film, in 1990 and 1995, Bruce Willis collaborated with Quentin Tarantino in pulp Fiction (1994), with Terry Gilliam for The Army of the Twelve Monkeys (1995) as well as with Luc Besson on The fifth Element , a memorable cinematographic tribute to the comic strips of Jean Giraud and Jean-Claude Mézières. The end of the 1990s ended for the actor with a title role in two other cult films, of a fundamentally opposite register:Armageddon (1998) Michael Bay’s Lower Forehead, and the Mysterious Sixth Sense (1999) by M. Night Shyamalan.

In the early 2000s, however, the old-fashioned action film was no longer popular. In mainstream entertainment, the era is of war films, frescoes of adventures and the surge of superheroes. Bruce Willis is in decline, like the other stars of yesteryear, the Sylvester Stallone, Jean-Claude Van Damme and other Arnold Schwarzenegger – then converted into governor of California. He connects the umpteenth sequels to the indestructible series of diehard has fun as a retired killer in the movies Red and Red 2 . The cast of America’s super-muscled heroes invite Bruce Willis to Expendables 2 , in 2012, alongside Dolph Lundgren, Jet Li, Chuck Norris and Jason Statham. These figures of the film heritage of the 1980s and 1990s pour into a pastiche and into permanent self-mockery. It becomes difficult to take them seriously.

His last role in a film refreshing and out of any cinematographic series goes back perhaps to the strange Looper by Rian Johnson, released in 2012. The science fiction story opposes Bruce Willis to the young Joseph Gordon-Levitt, a hitman responsible for embodying his same character, with a few decades less. The star emeritus signs a succession of choreographed sequences there, even if, at the bottom, the astonishing story of anticipation seems to have seduced him more than the flourishes heard of pirouettes and whistling balls. “Explosions are the most boring part of my jobsaid the actor in 2013. I know a lot of my audience loves those outbursts, but to be honest, I’m a bit bored now.” Eight last productions featuring Bruce Willis are still waiting to appear on VOD and in a few rare dark rooms. They are all action movies.

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