What Would Bruce Do?
The crowd goes wild!
Welcome to Monsters and Mayhem! If this is your first visit, howdy! We like things a little rough and tumble around here…just warning y’all. There might be explosions. Volcanos. BAMFs with attitude.
Since the monsters had their turn (Zombies and Favorites), it’s time for a little demolition. Or, as I see it, basically every Bruce Willis movie ever made. (See the aforementioned “BAMFs with attitude.”)
Oh, wait…maybe not all Bruce Willis movies. There was that one…um…oh, yeah–the one with…huh. Okay, basically every Bruce Willis movie ever made!
(Well, there is one…but I’m saving that one for Halloween.) I digress–moving on:
Formula for a successful Bruce Willis flick:
Bad guy takes over skyscraper/tries to kill the Supreme Being/wants to eliminate retired CIA agents. Mr. Willis snaps his fingers, pops a magazine into his pistol and saves the freaking world. Barefoot.
Except…when Bruce goes dark. Two of my favorite Bruce Willis movies are The Jackal and The Whole Nine Yards. Why? He’s not there to save the day. He’s there to wreak total havoc on anyone daring to cross his path. In other words? He’s a one-man Mayhem Machine.
In The Jackal, Bruce goes very dark. He plays the assassin as a cold, calculating killer, but there’s a mean edge to it. Like when he lies in wait for his target by stretching out on a sofa while they enter the house? Holy crap. Don’t know about you, but I kept screaming at the TV–“Look at the couch. LOOK at the COUCH! LOOK AT THE COUCH!!” Did they listen? No. As a result, chaos reigned. Frankly, the Jackal is nearly as scary as John Malkovich in In the Line of Fire.
Bruce plays an assassin in The Whole Nine Yards as well, but this is more dark comedy than anything. As the double-crosses mount, Jimmy “The Tulip” takes everything in wry stride, figuring out who he can (kind of) trust and who needs to be shown the forever-door. Matthew Perry is at his spaztastic finest in this movie, too. There’s car chases, shoot outs, a blown up house, a crazy-twisted-mixed-up romance. In short, the whole thing is mayhem from one end to the other. And it’s funny! In fact, it’s one of those movies where you tell yourself, “I really shouldn’t be laughing”…but you do anyway.
Most of Bruce’s characters are roguish heroes–good guys who are sarcastic, don’t play by the rules and are total pains-in-the-butt. And he’s great in those roles. But when he drops the good-guy bit? That’s where the real magic begins. (Disclaimer…I did say that I like my heroes a little bit bad, remember?)
Of course, if a giant asteroid is headed toward earth, I’d want the Harry Stamper version of the mighty Bruce instead of Jimmy “The Tulip.” Jimmy might just let the world burn.
All right, sound off — what’s your favorite Bruce Willis movie? If Bruce Willis and Jason Statham went into a room, who would come out? If Bruce Willis got into a staring contest with Samuel L. Jackson, who’d break eye contact first? If Alan Rickman took over the Empire State Building…oh, wait, I’d move in! But that’s a post for another day.