Let’s not kid ourselves and pretend that Bruce Willis starring in terrible genre films is a new phenomenon, even if the actor has accelerated his own decline by starring in no less than eleven VOD efforts since the beginning of 2019 alone, with another ten in various stages of development and production.
Hudson Hawk, Striking Distance, Last Man Standing and Mercury Rising had all left critics and audiences feeling cold long before the turn of the millennium, but at least during that period Willis had a consistent string of box office hits to keep hold of his reputation as one of the industry’s most reliably bankable stars.
There are currently at least half a dozen of the 66 year-old’s star vehicles streaming on Netflix, and today brings the addition of another, with Tears of the Sun having now been added to the library. Looking at the talent involved and the relatively straightforward premise, the project had the potential to do decent business and provide plenty of entertainment value, but it wasn’t to be.
It was Antoine Fuqua’s first film after Training Day, with Willis on familiar turf as a veteran soldier leading a team on a rescue mission deep into the dangerous and deadly Nigerian jungles. When their target refuses to abandon the people she’s helping, the squad are forced to dig in and lead an entire camp of refugees to safety.
Unfortunately, Tears of the Sun didn’t manage to recoup the $100 million budget from theaters and was largely dismissed by critics, but history has shown that star-powered actioners always tend to fare well on Netflix so there’s every chance it could find a new lease of life on streaming.