Bruce Willis didn’t start as an action hero, not by a long shot. His early days in acting were actually more of a comedic variety. But Die Hard and John McClane changed all of that and these days it seems like all the guy does is action films. In fact, he’s had a string of flicks hitting streaming services that you might not even have known were out there to see. One of them is on Netflix right now and you can see the actor in just a slightly different role within the heavy action. Check out Air Strike on streaming now.
Air Strike is a World War II action drama that centers on the Japanese invasion and bombing of Chongqing, a province in Southwestern China. The film centers around the build-up of the Chinese air forces which are going to be needed to stave off the Japanese fighter planes and bombers. Bruce Willis plays Jack, an officer in the US Military and fighter plane expert who has been sent to China to help train their forces. It’s a Herculean task to bring the Chinese fighter pilots up to speed in order to combat what is a formidable and ruthless Japanese force.
The Bombing of Chongqing references an extended aerial onslaught by Japanese forces that targeted this section of China over a many-year period including the time before United States forces had actually entered the war. Bruce Willis plays a character who is sent in near the tail end of the war. This is before the Japanese had surrendered and were making a last push to control and devastate this area of China, thereby maintaining power in the Asian theater of the war. It’s clear that the Chinese are outmatched, but Willis makes it his mission to help them survive the attacks and, in many ways, go back on the offensive through the air. Here, check out the trailer for Air Strike.
If you didn’t hear about this Bruce Willis movie, Air Strike, when it first came out more than two years ago, don’t think it simply slipped past you. This flick was originally released and marketed to the Chinese market, with very few American actors or actresses taking part. It was meant as one of the country’s commemorations of the 70 year anniversary of the Allied forces defeating the Japanese Imperial Army, a key piece of history for the nation of China. The original film was in Chinese with Willis’s lines translated. Subsequently, it was then re-dubbed in English for the version we are getting on Netflix.
The overall budget for Air Strike was actually pretty big at $65 million and it shows in some of the action sequences. The airplane dogfights and bombing raids do look high-powered even in the trailer with the sense that budget wasn’t of much concern here. It never actually hit theaters to recoup the money though with some production issues ultimately forcing the movie direct to streaming after a multi-year production run. Joining Bruce Willis in Air Strike is Adrien Brody who plays medic on the frontlines of the invasion. After that, this is a predominantly Chinese cast.
Critics weren’t overly kind to Bruce Willis or Air Strike in their analysis. Granted there are only five reviews published on Rotten Tomatoes, but all were of the negative variety and it’s currently sitting at 0% on the Tomatometer. They were critical of both the storyline and the performances in what apparently amounted to a one-sided view of the conflict.
As for Bruce Willis, as we said before, he’s been a very busy guy over the last few years even if a great many of the movies didn’t release for huge audiences. He was in science fiction space flicks like Breach and Cosmic Sin as well as action films like Hard to Kill and Survive the Night. Those all basically went right to streaming. Next up is the crime thriller Midnight in the Switchgrass and then there’s action thrillers Apex and American Siege. So the guy is as busy as ever. If you are looking for a different brand of war film then you might enjoy Air Strike even if critics weren’t into it.