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Willis, Bruce

Not exactly brat-pack, but one of those more-or-less interchangeable actors for films where actions are louder than words. You know, pre-packaged macho ... So what's he doing in these supercilious, cultured pages?

As someone with no interest in films full of explosions and violence, I'd seen this well-known actor on posters but never on screen; apart, that is, from the occasional trailer that just confirmed my prejudices. I ended up going to a movie when visiting the US, and the difficult negotiations among the group finally chose Speed as the least unacceptable to the greatest number. Dreadful film: half as long again as it needed to be, and thunderingly implausible.

Back in Belgium, Twelve Monkeys bored us extremely, and the fact that the eager film-buff (the term is unavoidable in the context) could there feast his or her eyes on Bruce's pert buttocks did not weigh with us. At all. Even if it was the high spot of the film for some people. I'd admit, though, that we enjoyed Pulp Fiction very much; and since then we've almost started looking out for his films. Hudson Hawk, Fifth Element and Sixth Sense are all on our video shelves, and Bruce himself – while not going carelessly to seed – now seems comfortable enough with showing the world an image that has not been Nautilused and air-brushed into conformity. Well done, that man.

Now, if Chuck Norris would stop shaving his shoulders …