Tossin’ It Out There: What do YOU think of Bruce Willis?

bruce-willis-04What’s going on, everyone?

It’s been awhile since we’ve had an actor/actress focused Tossin’ It Out There, and with “A Good Day to Die Hard” on everyone’s minds this weekend, I thought we might turn our attention to Mr. Willis.

Willis broke on the scene in the 1980s with ABC’s “Moonlighting”, and made the jump to feature films with 1987’s “Blind Date”. It was only a year later that he would be catapulted to movie stardom with 1988’s “Die Hard”, and he’s been a big name ever since.

His great films have been few and far between, but he does have them. From 1994’s “Pulp Fiction” to his two collaborations with M. Night Shyamalan, “The Sixth Sense” and “Unbreakable”, Willis definitely has some great films in his filmography. He’s been super prolific, though, racking up 95 credits on his IMDb page. And certainly, not all of them have been good.

So what’s your take? Did he earn your loyalty eternally via his role as John McClane, or as Butch in “Pulp Fiction”? Do you prefer your actors with a little more range? Has he had one too many flops for your taste?

Let’s hear it! What do YOU think of Bruce Willis?

Daniel Fogarty


141 thoughts on “Tossin’ It Out There: What do YOU think of Bruce Willis?

  1. Well, I like his earlier work, but feel like he hasn’t been showing much difference in his roles any more. He’s just Bruce Willis. I don’t know if you ever heard Kevin Smith talk about his experience working with him, but once you heard that you kind of see that back on the screen.

    • I’ve heard OF it… what Smith had to say. I know it wasn’t favorbale, but Im not sure exactly of the specifics. Just kind of that he thought Willis was kind of a dick on “Cop Out”. Thats the gist of what I know about it. Was there more?

      • Yeah, he basically didn’t want to do things the way Smith asked him, would redo things the same way not taking direction or simply not redo something because he felt it was good enough.

      • And the way I heard it was from the flip side…that Smith didn’t know how to direct.

        Ultimately, I don’t care who’s right. I like both their work…but not “Cop Out”

      • No, “Cop Out” definitely sucked.

        And I imagine there’s truth on both sides of that coin. I’ve always felt that Smith was overrated in terms of a director. As a star, or personality, he’s great. But his movies arent as good as his legion of fans might make them out to be.

  2. I’ve always liked Bruce Willis. He’s been in a nice variety of stuff, most of which he pulls of pretty well. But most of all I really like his cool action persona. I was just tweeting this morning how I’d like to see him play Race Banon in a live-action Jonny Quest movie.

  3. I hope he makes action films for the rest of his life but I also hope he makes better choices than this last Die Hard Film. He has great charisma but it needs to be channeled, otherwise he gets lazy (as an actor, not when it comes to working). I went to the theater earlier this year and of the eight trailers I saw he and Dwayne Johnson were in seven, including one together.

    • He definitely does get lazy, man. The Cold Light of Day I kept waiting for someone to go over and shake him awake. Definitely his worst tendency.

      I’m not exactly expecting much out of GI Joe 2, but it will be kind of cool seeing he and the rock together…

  4. Bruce Willis is one of the best action stars ever very few can deliver like he can. He definitely has the range from movies like The Sixth Sense and he has his comedic side. If your in as many movies as he is of course your going to have some flops. He is just one of those actors when you see his name attached to a movie your just gonna watch it because of him.

    • Well, you’re right, his name definitely carries weight. He sells tickets, no doubt.

      But can’t you assign him some blame for all the flops by taking on so many movies? I mean, he doesn’t seem too “choosey”, if you know what I mean. LOL

  5. I prefer his stuff like Lucky Number Slevin because he’s actually a pretty convincing actor when he want’s to be. Lately though it has just been like, “Look, our movie has BRUCE WILLIS and shit explodes. GO SEE IT!”

  6. While the Die Hard franchise appears to be running out of steam (largely through writers who don’t get Die Hard), I still like Bruce Willis. When he’s in a good film, his charisma really shows through and he makes a great every man hero. (Although I was commenting to Eric at the Warning Sign the other day that I don’t really think of Pulp Fiction as a Bruce Willis movie; he just isn’t foremost in my mind on that one.)

    Favorite films of his: Die Hard 1 & 3, The Fifth Element, Unbreakable, The Sixth Sense (though I think it’s a view-once film), and Over the Hedge.

    • Naw, man, you can watch the Sixth Sense multiple times… I have! Its a great movie even without the twist.

      Pulp Fiction definitely isn’t a “Bruce Willis Movie”, you’re right about that. But he was great there, and its one of the biggest jewels in his crown, so we can’t take it away from him.

      I hope he gets some better roles going forward. Hopes arent high for RED 2, but he might do well with it… I wasn’t expecting much from RED either.

  7. I like Bruce. He’s a charismatic east coast actor that rose to stardom during a time when I was just starting to fall in love with movies.

    I like his calm and cool demeanor, and although not great his performances are you usually pretty steady and he’s rarely the reason for a movie’s failure.

    • Uhhhhhh… I dont know about that last part, there’s some times when he stars in films that he’s obviously disinterested in , and it shows. That hurts the movie, and who knows what it might have been otherwise. Not that he could have saved “Cop Out”, but I think “Cop Out” is a good example, see discussion above.

      That said, when he’s on his game, you’re right. I love that smug attitude he brings to the table. LOL 😀

  8. I think he has done some good stuff in lots of genres. I might be alone but I really liked him in Hostage. Look Who’s Talking……still funny even now, Willis is just always solid, and a guy I will watch in pretty much anything. Although Ive just seen Looper and dont get why it gets the love it does, but thats another story! 🙂

  9. Willis is a man of action in that lengthy dialogue doesn’t flatter his characters. But without the snappy dialogue and action, he flounders. He just needs good parts(like anybody else). He had a strong 2012 year with Looper and Moonrise Kingdom. I’m still a big fan, and even with a subpar film like latest Die Hard, he’s still a box office draw.

    • He might need the “Good Parts” more than others, I cant ever recall him elevating a film or rising above crappy material… which happens occasionally with the really great actors.

      Definitely did have a great year last year though, S. No doubt about it.

  10. I’ve always liked Willis – except for Color of Night – that was a little TOO much Willis for me. I know he’s made some other stinkers – but who hasn’t?

  11. Dude he is one of the few that has made a smooth transition to tough but older action hero that few make plausible. I have always liked him and even though his latest diehard is a bit of a misstep he has The Expendables, 16 Blocks and Looper in recent years and that gives me the faith that he will eventually become an action elder statesman, kind of like another Sly Stallone.

    • 16 Blocks was actually pretty good, yeah. And Looper was great. I dont know how much credit I give him on the Expendables though.

      He already is an elder action statesman! Guy’s up there man! And he’s at least 75% action in his roles, I’d say. We’ll see. I hope he has a handful of hits left in him, you know? I dont want to see him doing action films when he’s 80. 😀

      • Yeah not even Clint could pull off action films past a certain point, I just dont think its possible! Now keep in mind he hasnt reached 60 yet, so I am betting he has something left!

  12. For me he’s always been an actor that has done some decent stuff but isn’t quite the legend many people big him up as. He’s done some good films but he’s also done some rubbish (who hasn’t) and in interviews and things he comes across as so arrogant like he just can;t be bothered all the time.

    • Yeah, he’s totally a dick to the press. I dont think Ive ever seen a decent interview with him. I mean, I’m sure it can be a burden to be so famous and have the press hound you, but he could lighten up once in awhile, you know? Geez!

  13. I haven’t seen the recent works of Bruce Willis. The most recent probably is Expendables 2. But I love the man. He’s a great action star and can do the comedic act. Die Hard franchise (up to the 4th, haven’t seen the 5th) is absolutely fun. I love The Whole Nine Yards. Plus, he has awesome flicks like Pulp Fiction and Fifth Element. And wait, he also does horror/thriller..whatever you categorize Sixth Sense in. I’d say he’s had a pretty decent career and I respect him for it. A lot of good actors slow down and pick up some bad movies..but I mean its only a small amount compared to what they’ve achieved before.

    • Wellllll in Willis’ case, I think he’s done a bunch of subpar stuff, but you’re right, the high quality stuff is mixed in in his filmography, no doubt.

      The 5th Die Hard is no fun. Just sayin. Maybe if you went in with NO expectations whatsoever. LOL

      He definitely has had a really really good career, there’s no doubt. He’s a big name for a reason!

  14. I love Bruce. Sure he’s been in some terrible stuff, but not a lot of actors can say that they haven’t. I think Bruce has more range than he gets credit for. He has his own little eccentricies, but I like that. Look at him in 12 Monkeys against Mclane. As long as he isn’t playing music.

  15. I’ve always liked him and I think he’s more versatile than ppl give him credit for, but he’s getting lazy now. I mean he COULD act, and he did in Moonrise Kingdom, but he seems to only collect paycheck just to play himself lately. I think one of my fave roles of his is Unbreakable, I love how understated he was in that.

    • Yeah that’s a great movie, for sure.

      I’m one of those people that doesn’t give him much credit for having “range” though. LOL. I dont find him all that versatile. 😦

      And yeah, even when he’s allowed to just be who he is, sometimes he gets bored. He’s had more than a few absolute mail in jobs, and that really irks me when I come across ’em.

  16. Quite an everyman. Does a nice balancing act between comedy/drama, but to be in the top 10 in movie earnings without an Oscar nom is telling. He is such a likable lout that people forget his stinkers, who remembers Hudson Hawk? What makes him so good in an action flik is his ability to crack a one liner with real panache! He certainly takes parts that other stars would not. Clint Eastwood as the sheriff in “Moonrise Kingdom”? While he may not raise a pictures quality he fits in so well as to not burden it, e.g. “Nobody’s Fool”. I like him, I know you do too.

    • I do like him, definitely, but its not unqualified support. Like you say, he’s never had an Oscar nom, and likely never will. Eastwood is a good comparison… Though I think Eastwood is 10x the actor. They both essentially played some variation of themselves throughout their careers.

      And you’re right, people do seem to be forgiving of his stinkers. So far today this thread has been overwhelmingly positive. Something I wouldn’t have expected seeing as he actually does have plenty of sketchy spots on his filmography.

  17. My first guy reaction is to say that I HATE him, and have always hated him. Whenever I think of him I picture a cocky SOB who I wouldn’t want anywhere near me in real life. But as I thought more about it, I realized that I actually do like several of his films, just not the ones that jump most quickly to my mind (And the ones that most other people associate him with the most).

    I absolutely ADORED Twelve Monkeys, and it’s probably my favorite performance of his. Then I started thinking about how good he was in Looper, Armageddon, The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable. And then I made myself laugh remembering him voicing a baby in the Look Who’s Talking series.

    So if one of those guys showed up, we’d probably get along just fine and I’d even buy him a beer. But for his more cocky action heroes, I’m ducking behind the bar!

    • Thought for a minute there we had found our first hater. There’s gotta be someone, there always is. LOL

      He definitely does come across as arrogant sometimes, there’s no doubt. In real life, too. I’ve seen him in the media being kind of curt with the press.

      That said, if I met him and he wanted a beer, I’d buy him a beer! LOL

    • Yeah, he’s shined when he’s been given the right set up, no doubt. I’m not sure about RED 2, but then again, I wasn’t looking forward to RED and it wound up entertaining. Hopefully that’ll happen again this time. 😉

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