Bruce Willis has had an incredible career in Hollywood spanning now 35+ years after making his first big splash on the show Moonlighting. What followed has been an eclectic career of some award-winning and iconic movies, along with some rather forgettable choices along the way. But say what you want about the guy’s career as a whole, he remains incredibly busy, churning out multiple movies a year. 2020 is no different and he’s just wrapped his latest film.
Starring Bruce Willis, Apex, currently in post-production, is set in the future and follows a group of hunters who set about on a desert island using another human as the prey. Willis is the guy they are trying to hunt down, which if you’ve seen any of his previous movies, is likely going to end very poorly for all those involved. From the description, I couldn’t help but get an Ice-T–led Surviving the Game vibe from way back in 1994. Best not to hunt humans because they can flip the script and just hunt you back.
Along with Bruce Willis, the film also stars Neal McDonough, who’s had plenty of television work with roles in DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, The 100, Van Helsing, and Altered Carbon to name a few. They are joined by Megan Peta-Hill, Alexia Fast, and Trevor Gretzky.
News about Apex follows the recent trailer of another new Bruce Willis film, Breach, a sci-fi space film about a group of humans escaping Earth in search of a new planet to inhabit. Along the way, they encounter an alien life force on the ship who wants to kill everyone on board. It looks very much like your standard sci-fi fare, but with Willis killing aliens on a giant space ark. Both Apex and Breach are directed by Edward Drake, who also helmed another Willis-led production, Cosmic Sin.
The late 90s and early 2000s were a great time for Bruce Willis-led action movies. In this period, Willis was releasing films like Armageddon, The Fifth Element, 12 Monkeys, and still releasing films in the Die Hard franchise. These were essentially the halcyon days of Bruce Willis action movies, along with interesting curiosities like Pulp Fiction and Unbreakable thrown in as well. He could carry movies, had a knack for playing something of the everyman who was stuck in a variety of impossible and violent situations. He never brought a particular set of skills to the action, but rather just a penchant for making the right choices at the right time. His characters gave off an aura of confidence that made us feel like we could accomplish much the same thing in the face of imminent danger.
The action films of Bruce Willis were hit-or-miss after that, but he made a mini-comeback about a decade ago when he leaned into the aging-action star with films like Looper, Red ,and The Expendables. Those films, in many ways, were tongue-in-cheek, while also honoring the action stars of the past. It was a refreshing look for the actor who still looks every bit the leading man. The dude is 65-years-old, yet he can still looks like he could put a hurting on someone (or something) if need be.
It seems safe to say those days of Bruce Willis-starring action movies with a solid critical reception might be drawing to a close. Over the last ten years or so, it’s been forgettable film after forgettable film, filled with a plethora of direct-to-VOD and B-movies with regrettable titles like Survive the Night, 10 Minutes Gone, Reprisal, First Kill, and Acts of Violence, along with the incredibly tone-deaf remake of Death Wish that now litter the Willis resume. It hasn’t been a banner decade for the actor when it comes to great roles, success at the box office, or with critics.
It’s unclear if these next two movies will turn things around in that respect for the actor. Neither appears to inspire that much confidence, though Bruce Willis might just be going for popcorn film entertainment these days and nothing more. It’s for sure keeping him busy. Breach is set to release on VOD on December 18, 2020, while Apex doesn’t have an official date as of this writing. But considering filming has wrapped we could be seeing it on our smaller screens sooner than later.