movie film review | chris tookey
harsh reviews
An A to Z of the World's Deadliest Movie Reviews From Affleck
to Zeta Jones
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 
Bruce Willis
Actor, Die Hard (1988)
In the first half Willis wears an undershirt. In the second half he gets rid of it. And that's pretty much it for his performance. Of course, an actor is hard pressed to create a characterization when all he has to play against is gunshots and explosions. Any actor deserves sympathy when his love interest is sequestered from him, his nemeses are without human interest, his potential allies are all idiots, and the only sensible figure on the scene (Reginald Veljohnson) is always a walkie-talkie away. Still, Willis' presence is whiny and self-involved, and it is a ludicrous error to have him stop to confess past insensitivities before effecting his wife's climactic rescue. That is not the dramatically opportune moment to go Moonlighting.
(Richard Schickel, Time)
Willis is much better suited to his popular jive-talking TV persona than to this big-screen action film, in which he appears in almost every frame, smirking, cursing, mugging and overacting.
(Doris G. Worsham, Oakland Times)
Actor, Sunset (1988)
The miscast Willis seems to be doing an impersonation of one of those old wooden Indians.
(Simon Rose)
Actor, Writer, Hudson Hawk (1991)
A miserable fiasco, and as horrible a commentary on the banality of Mr Willis's psyche, as Harlem Nights was on Eddie Murphy's. The plot is pathetic, the characters puerile, and the performances (notably by Richard E. Grant and Sandra Bernhard as the villains) toe-curlingly abysmal. Mr Willis ambles through the witless jokes and senseless violence with a cocky smirk which made me wish Thelma and Louise would come by and deal with him. The good news is that the film should lose every cent of its 55 million dollar budget. Mr Willis and his team have discovered the 20th century equivalent of alchemy: how to turn gold into purest lead.
(Chris Tookey, Sunday Telegraph)
Its utter failure can only be explained by some form of madness having overcome the people involved in its making.
(Philip French, Observer)
A movie this unspeakably awful can make an audience a little crazy. You want to throw things, yell at the actors, beg them to stop. Willis, in the title role, plays a cat burglar just out of jail and back on the job with his friend Tommy Messina (Danny Aiello). They pride themselves on completing a museum robbery in the exact time it takes them to sing Swinging on a Star. It's not only that they sing badly; it's that they seem so pleased with their smirking, preening selves.
(Peter Travers, Rolling Stone)
Too much stardom too soon can be bad for an actor. All it takes is one big blockbuster to bloat his sense of self-worth... Bruce was ‘the man’ here. He improvised his dialogue. He overruled his director. He out-shouted his co-stars. He made it up as he went along. And [producer Joel] Silver encouraged him every step of the way. The result is an off-the-cuff, seat-of-your-pants, rough-and-tumble romp that doesn’t always know where it is going even after it gets there. But wherever it is, at any given moment, we find ourselves wanting to be somewhere else, because it turns out that Willis’s personal style and sensibility aren’t very funny at all. In fact, they’re downright obnoxious... It’s not just the incoherent plot or the juvenile jokes, the senseless cartoon violence or the budget-busting demnolition derbies. It’s also the way Willis and Silver serve up these insults with such smug self-satisfaction. It’s as if their movie was some sort of private Planet Hollywood party to which we’d been magnanimously invited. The trouble is, they’re all drunk and we’re still sober.
(Michael Sauter, The Worst Movies of All Time)
Actor, Color of Night (1994)
I can understand Willis wishing to extend his acting range, but as a psychiatrist he is slightly less convincing than Mickey Rourke might be playing the lead in The Marcel Proust Story.
(Chris Tookey, Daily Mail)
Actor, Last Man Standing (1996)
Willis lacks the grandeur for this kind of role: he looks less like an assassin than someone who might slide out from under your car and try to overcharge you for an MOT.
(Chris Tookey, Daily Mail)
Actor (as himself), Ocean’s Twelve (2004)
Bruce Willis contributes a cameo which is as profoundly humourless as only he could make it.
(Peter Bradshaw, Guardian)
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