He got his big break when he starred in the TV series Moonlighting and the action classic Die Hard. But while a lot of people can recall Willis' best-known roles, some of his other movies flew under the radar. Since Bruce Willis has recently announced he would be retiring from acting, it's a good time to take a look at some of his underappreciated movies.
Even when he doesn't play the leading role, Bruce Willis has the power to draw attention to himself. Nobody's Fool centers on Paul Newman's Sully, an older man who lives in a small city and does what he wants, even if it means it'll lead to conflict with others. One man with whom Sully clashes on a regular basis is the local contractor Carl Roebuck (Willis). Sully likes to steal Carl's snowblower, and he also flirts with his wife to get back at him.
Nobody's Fool mixes drama and comedy as the audience will be curious to see what will Sully do next. Paul Newman is one of the greatest acting legends of the 20th century and in this movie, he proves once again that his reputation was fully justified. However, Bruce Willis doesn't disappoint either and the ongoing rivalry between Carl and Sully makes for some of the funniest moments in the movie.
When somebody says Bruce Willis' name, even his fans don't usually think about animated movies. It's true that Willis primarily focused on live-action movies. That doesn't mean he wasn't able to give a solid performance relying on his voice only. Beavis and Butt-Head Do America is a good example of that. Road trips are a popular genre, but they're not usually animated, which makes this movie unique. The two main characters visit multiple places in America, such as Las Vegas and Washington, and face many problems that they have to deal with along the way.
As soon as the viewers get used to the specific style of animation, they're in for a fun and adventurous movie. Bruce Willis voiced the part of Muddy, a man who mistakes Beavis and Butt-Head for assassins for hire and offers them a lot of money if they dispose of his wife. The only problem is that the main heroes don't quite understand what Muddy is asking them to do so things get a lot more complicated. The movie surprises the audience more than once and has the power to make them laugh.
Love is complicated, and it can happen to anyone, even notorious bank robbers. Bruce Willis and Billy Bob Thornton play two bank robbers, Joe and Terry, who fall for Kate (Cate Blanchett), the woman they kidnaped. Despite her circumstances, Kate isn't afraid of Joe and Terry and grows closer to them. That distracts them, though, which helps the police get closer to capturing them.
If the audience wants to see Bruce Willis in an unusual romantic movie, Bandits is the best option. The movie's resolution is surprising and the main trio fits together well. Plus, despite the topic it deals with, Bandits doesn't shy from humor, so it comes across as a feel-good movie for the most part.
Bruce Willis has done his fair share of action movies but even in this genre, some of his work didn't get as much recognition as it would have deserved. When a wave of terrorist attacks hits New York, it's up to several people to try the people responsible.
The movie is full of tension and action moments and has a strong cast overall, starring names such as Denzel Washington, Annette Bening, and, of course, Bruce Willis, who brings gravitas and seriousness to his role as the Army General William Devereaux. What makes the movie even more interesting for Bruce Willis' fans is that he doesn't play a heroic role, which makes it different from the majority of his work and gives him the chance to show yet again how wide his acting range is.
One common characteristic that many of his characters have is that they're able to win, and save the day, even though the odds are against them. Last Man Standing personifies this well as Bruce Willis plays a mysterious stranger who wanders into a small city in Texas and ends up in the middle of a war between the gangs and the police.
Even though the movie didn't get much love from the audience, Last Man Standing is a must-watch not just for all fans of Bruce Willis but for everyone who enjoys classic westerns of the 1960s and the 1970s as the movie's story references and reflects them more than once. The director Walter Hill has created many movies of the same genre before, and Bruce Willis is convincingly strong and determined as the stranger who doesn't know who to trust and can only rely on himself.