Bruce Willis: Celebrating the Cinematic Legacy of an Unbreakable Hollywood Icon

Applause. Jun. 2024. 264p. ISBN 9781493076338. $32.95. FILM
For the naysayers who believe Bruce Willis can only consistently play the disgruntled, weary cop trope with a trademark smirk, O’Connell (managing director, CinemaBlend; Release the Snyder Cut) expertly provides evidence to the contrary. He proves Willis’s versatility and fearlessness through his storied career in this accessible guide. The book utilizes original interviews with Willis’s directors and the critics and journalists who covered him for years. He tracks the progress of the actor’s journey from comedies (TV’s Moonlighting and the film Blind Date) and his emergence as an everyday hero (the Die Hard franchise), to the flops (Hudson Hawk) and the stratospheric successes (The Sixth Sense, Pulp Fiction, and more), which made him, at one point, Hollywood’s highest-paid actor. O’Connell asserts that Willis has long been a generous actor, using his clout to greenlight risky projects, working for unknown filmmakers, happily joining cast ensembles, sometimes playing himself as a punchline, all while allowing the spotlight to shine on his costars. Notably, there are no interviews with any of his costars. The book ends with a thorough review of every Willis film.
VERDICT Willis’s fans will appreciate the book’s detailed filmography, but they won’t find personal anecdotes here.
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