Action comedy Once Upon A Time In Venice, which stars Bruce Willis, is now showing in cinemas nationwide. Here are some of the Hollywood actor’s action films
1. DIE HARD (1988)
This critically and commercially successful movie sees Willis as NYPD police officer John McClane, an average guy who saves hostages from a group of gunmen who have taken over a building in Los Angeles. Prior to this he was known for his comedic role in the TV series Moonlighting.
Die Hard launched his movie career and magnified his celebrity status worldwide. It also resulted in a franchise with four sequels to date.
2. LAST MAN STANDING (1996)
A remake of Akira Kurosawa’s Yojimbo (1961) and heavily influenced by A Fistful Of Dollars (1964), it sees Willis as a gun-for-hire in the middle of an ongoing war between Irish and Italian criminal gangs during the Prohibition era in the US. Christopher Walken, who plays the villain, had previously starred with Willis in Pulp Fiction (1994).
3. THE FIFTH ELEMENT (1997)>/b>
Willis plays a taxi driver and former special forces officer, who teams up with an enigmatic woman to save the world from impending doom. Set in the 23rd century, this quirky and far out sci-fi movie was written and helmed by French director Luc Besson. The actor ad-libbed the line, “Whoa, lady, I only speak two languages, English and bad English.”
4. ARMAGEDDON (1998)
Although panned by critics, this Michael Bay-directed disaster movie made lots of money. Disengage your brain while watching the mesmerising action scenes and visual effects, as Willis heads a team of deep core drillers in space to blow up a giant asteroid on a collision course with Earth.
In order to get out of a previous unsalvageable project, Willis had to star in three Disney studio films: Armageddon, The Sixth Sense (1999) and Unbreakable (2000).>/i> The actor apparently did not like Bay’s directing style and refuses to work with him again.
5. TEARS OF THE SUN (2003)
This war movie has Willis heading a US Navy SEAL team on a mission to rescue a US citizen and doctor (played by Monica Bellucci) stranded in war-torn Nigeria. Willis didn’t get along with director Antoine Fuqua after principal photography began and the two apparently vowed never to work with each other again.
6. 16 BLOCKS (2006)
Willis plays an ageing alcoholic cop assigned to escort a witness from police custody to a courthouse 16 blocks away. It turns out to be a pretty dangerous affair in this crime movie that unfolds in real time. To make his limp look realistic onscreen, Willis put a pebble in his shoe and kept it there throughout the length of the shoot.
7. THE EXPENDABLES (2010)
Main honcho and director Sylvester Stallone assembles a solid ensemble of action stars for an inevitable action film franchise. Willis sports an uncredited cameo here as a CIA operative who hires Stallone’s team of mercenaries to eliminate a Latin dictator and a renegade CIA agent.
This is the first time Stallone, Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger (also in an uncredited cameo) appear in a film together. Willis and Schwarzenegger have an excellent action scene together in the much better and more fun sequel in 2012.
8. RED (2010)
Based on the comic book of the same name, this comedy sees Willis as a former black-ops agent who reunites with his old associates (played by Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich and Helen Mirren) after an assassin threatens his peaceful life. Mirren took the role because she wanted to work with Willis.
Willis had co-starred with Freeman in The Bonfire Of The Vanities (1990) and Lucky Number Slevin (2006).
9. LOOPER (2012)
This convoluted neo-noir sci-fi movie sees Willis as an assassin, who travels back in time to escape being killed and runs into his younger self. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who was fitted with prosthetics, studied Willis’ past movies in order to play his younger self. His performance impressed Willis.
10. G.I. JOE: RETALIATION (2013)
Based on Hasbro’s popular action figure toy line, The G.I. Joes battle their mortal enemy Cobra again in this sequel and soft reboot to G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra (2009). The movie features dazzling over-the-top cartoon action with Willis playing the badass General Joseph Colton.
Willis and Byung-hun Lee (who plays Cobra’s Storm Shadow) co-starred again in RED 2 (2013).