In short, all contemporary concerns are limited to three questions: when does the pandemic end? Is there something after we die? and what happened to the race Bruce Willis?
None of the three has a direct, accurate or understandable answer, true, but the Willis thing is impossible to decipher: after becoming one of the great stars in the history of cinema, he has spent the last five years giving products to the that even the class B denomination is too big for them.
For example, from 2015 to last year, he participated in 39 films, of which only very few had international distribution: only five were released in Uruguay. There are his most important recent films such as Glass Y desire to kill, the dispensable remake of The Avenger of Anonymous, that of Charles Bronson.
The rest of this period is loaded with films that used to go straight to the video store and now not even that. It is not even clear where they can be seen and their main window seems to be illegal download sites. There the derisive comments towards Willis’ films have surpassed those of Nicolas Cage’s, another actor who seems to have abandoned respect for his profession but two times three makes an interesting one and is a great actor.
That doesn’t necessarily happen with Willis, whose secret was in a combination of charisma and interesting projects. Thus her career has been boosted thanks to her seductive presence in how Die Hard, Sixth Sense, The Fifth Element, Twelve Monkeys, Pulp Fiction The Sin City. Of those lately, nothing.
I mean, a disaster like this begs that existential question: what the hell happened to old Bruce? Why does he act as if at a certain point he started giving a damn about everything?
One reason, perhaps, is his lucrative association with producer Randall Emmett, with whom he has worked on more than 25 projects in recent years.
Emmet has 123 credits as a producer, among which are The Irishman and Silence by Martin Scorsese or In the Crosshairs, the one with Jake Gyllenhaal, but basically his filmography is full of movies like those in which he boasts of having Willis.
They are genre films, basically cheap novel police, in which Willis’s participation is limited to a secondary character and a photo on a poster. His presence on screen, many times, does not exceed a quarter of an hour.
For that little commitment, Willis would receive, according to journalistic calculations, a million dollars, which would be the largest production item. The cast is led by minor stars such as Neal McDonnough, Jesse Metcalfe, Hayden Christensen, Chad Michael Murray.
Considering that between last year and this year he has released or announced 22 films and the cache he charges, there is significant money in Willis’s artistic decisions: even so, he is one of the most sought-after actors in Hollywood.
The reason for bringing the subject up is that Netflix has just included in its grid, Dangerous Goods, which some consider the best of the whole lot. It’s from 2016, it’s produced by Emmett and it’s a summary of his authorial style: it’s short, violent and slightly macho.
Willis plays a psychopathic mobster who wants to get his hands on the loot left by one of his employees. There’s a jewel heist, lots of gunshots, and various inconsistencies in the script. It’s an old-fashioned cop.
The model is repeated in others that are on Netflix or other streaming services (there are not that many) and that are for those who trust that Willis can, in one of them, swerve his career. For now that would not be happening.