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7 Times Bruce Willis Went Next Level in Classic Movies

What made these movies great? A little Willis goes a long way.

Bruce Willis is synonymous with action, even though he got his start as a romantic lead in television. His legendary everyman role in the Die Hard series cemented him as an icon in the industry and he continues to play into the standards he set now nearly thirty years on. One of the most recognizable film stars in modern cinema, his movies have long been some of the most popular ever made, including a ton of great movie moments. Here are 7 times Bruce Willis went next level in classic movies. Yippee-ki … you know the rest.

Cole Meets The Doctor

Bruce Willis
12 Monkeys, 1995 © Universal Pictures

THE MOVIE: 12 Monkeys (1995) is a sci-fi thriller from director Terry Gilliam about a a deadly virus that wipes out most of humanity, forcing survivors underground where, forty years later, a prisoner is sent back in time to try and find the original strain so doctors can create a cure. Makes sense. Famous for Brad Pitt‘s Academy Award-nominated performance as a whacko, this movie is a trippy headcase of huh?, which translates to … this movie is da bomb. 90s youth cultural reference anyone?

Bruce Willis
12 Monkeys, 1995 © Universal Pictures

THE MOMENT: Willis plays James Cole, an observant criminal given the chance to save the world by traveling back in time to track down the start of the epidemic. He’s meant to arrive in 1996 but, as the tech ain’t so perfect yet, instead pops up in 1990 where his rantings get him arrested and confined to a mental hospital under the care of Dr. Kathryn Railly (Madeleine Stowe). Chained to the floor, drooling like Pavlovian dog, and spastic with twitch like he’s seeing flutterbys in his eyes, Cole tries to figure out where the heck he is as Railly looks on in bemused wonder. Willis plays it full-bore crazy and is wildly convincing as a disturbed and naive prisoner completely out of his element in this sensational moment that proved Willis was more than a gun-totting terrorist killer. And speaking of which …

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