Long time ago it was customary to offer Bruce Willis a leading role, because it was guaranteed that he would carry the whole movie and determine the success of the respective movies. He was also demonstratively placed centrally on a movie poster or video/DVD box, where he could look you right into the eyes in a penetrating way. A look with determination and one that shouted “Die Hard” slogans like “This movie is MINE. I own this movie. I’m the ruler in this movie, yippiekayee Motherf*cker … “. You couldn’t resist it. You just had to see this movie in which Bruce “The Invincible” ruled.
But those days are long gone. Willis has been degraded to a prop, a necessary evil and a meaningless ancillary character. He’s still in the foreground of the movie poster like yesteryear, but compared to his overall contribution and the importance of his part, this can be easily reduced to a tiny photo, so you can hear surprised cries when moviegoers look at the poster “Hey isn’t that Bruce Willis there on that tiny picture in the corner? “. Sadly, the last performances of Bruce Willis were as impressive as that of the Christmas tree in “Home Alone” or the snowman Olaf in “Frozen”. It was kind of necessary but not decisive for the success of the film (although I give Olaf more credit on second thought). Look at “The Cold Light of Day”, “Fire with Fire” and “Red 2” and you see him as a prop that is commercially exploited and who tries a new revival of the past glory as John McClane. “A Good Day to Die Hard” was just a mockery compared to the first “Die Hard” movies. A steel pin right through my heart. As a true “Die Hard” fan it was too sad for words.
Luckily, he’s accompanied by another Hollywood star who has more downs than ups, namely John Cusack. Despite the monstrosities “2012”, “The Numbers Station” and “Grand Piano”, he manages to keep his reputation high due to participating in “The Raven”, “The Frozen Ground” and “The Butler”. Sadly enough his contribution to “The Prince” is also meaningless and minimal. I will always relate Cussack to “Serendipity”, how crazy that may sound ! His role in “The Prince” is merely limited to explaining the whole situation. That’s it.
Jason Patric and Jessica Lowndes are the ones who steal the show in this film. But only till halfway, because from then on the show became tedious and boring. Paul is a retired criminal, who turned his back on the past and spends his days in a little town repairing cars. His illustrious past however brusquely reappears the day his beloved daughter (with a drug addiction) is abducted. It reminded me a little bit of Statham in “Homefront”. I must confess that the first half of the movie was entertaining. Paul who leads a seemingly common life and who can convince the seductive and tasty-looking Angela to take him to New Orleans, turns out to be a tough and well trained fighter who can stand his ground. The sangfroid and coolness can be compared with that of Bruce Willis, who we can admire in the beginning and who seems to be nothing more than a crazed,frustrated crime baron seeking revenge. But as the film progresses, it reminds me more and more of the ancient fighting games I played on my C-64. You had to fight against various opponents throughout numerous levels. As one progresses it becomes more difficult to beat the opponent. And in the end you are confronted with the final boss. Same here !
Besides the fact that the whole story is fairly simplistic and boring, it’s the fact that “The Prince” is nearly untouchable which makes it unrealistic,implausible and terribly irritating. Once again a film in which the opponents use a lot of ammunition without even hitting anything, and the protagonist walks around like a spirit while shooting the total opposition into smithereens with some well-aimed shots . There is nothing so satisfying as seeing some confident posers with a big mouth getting their ass kicked. But if that same person can dodge bullets in a superhuman way, the fun is over. And “His Royal coolness” Willis was convincing at the start, but the moment he started sniffing at Paul’s daughter her hair like an old pervert, this feeling was immediately swept from the table. I’m afraid I’m going to avoid movies featuring Willis in the future, since it’s only used to promote an inferior film and exploit it commercially. I miss that “Yippiekayee”.