Once upon a time, Bruce Willis was one of the biggest stars in Hollywood, able to pick and choose his projects however he saw fit having established a solid track record at the box office ever since Die Hard first catapulted him towards the top of the A-list.
However, the 65 year-old’s star has faded dramatically over the last decade, and having sleepwalked his way through virtually every one of his major roles recently, he now finds himself occupying the same territory as Nicolas Cage. Both veterans have a string of critical and commercial hits under their belts, but are a lot more likely to be found slumming it in a bunch of bargain-basement action movies that don’t even come under consideration for a theatrical release.
To put things into perspective, Willis has starred in eighteen films in the last five years alone, and only six of them have been released on the big screen. Out of those, two were brief cameos in Split and The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part, and three were Rock the Kasbah, Death Wish and Motherless Brooklyn, all of which bombed at the box office, leaving M. Night Shyamalan’s Glass as his only commercial success since 2013’s triple-whammy of A Good Day to Die Hard, G.I. Joe: Retaliation and Red 2.
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The actor’s descent into mediocrity continues next month with the release of Hard Kill co-starring Desperate Housewives alumni Jesse Metcalfe, which is not to be confused with his 2017 effort First Kill, and the newly-revealed trailer promises yet another copy-and-paste installment in the endless stream of VOD action movies that flood the market on an annual basis.
You can probably count on one hand the number of memorable Bruce Willis performances we’ve seen in the 21st Century, and it certainly doesn’t look as if Hard Kill is going to be the movie to restore him to former glories. But at least he’s picking up a series of steady paychecks.