Five Movies That Could Have Used a Time-Traveling Bruce Willis

Oct 11th, 2012 | By | Category: Prose

So I guess if this year’s sci-fi action tickler Looper has taught us anything, it’s that no actor is as well-equipped to go back in time and talk to some dummies about life as Bruce Willis. (I mean, it also taught us that all women should be sexy moms, but everything teaches us that! We need to be specific, we can’t sit here all day.)

But let’s be honest. Something about those piercing green eyes and weary yet earnest jaw-clenching just inspires trust in those he’s come back to warn. (He never comes back to give you good news. Bruce Willis wants you to experience the adoption of your new puppy with all the flush of wonderful surprise…before he tells you there’s only six days left before the deadly Dog-Zombie Outbreak.)

But really, even though this is his third time-travel movie, it doesn’t feel like ENOUGH. There are so many movies full of people making terrible decisions! Somebody has to go back in time and warn them before it’s too late! And Bruce is up to the job. Below, some movies that would have been much better if he had just stepped back in time to warn some people.


Bruce Willis appears, grizzled and unannounced, at the Weyland Corporation’s annual Unidentified Destination Signup Career Festival and Bake-Off to have a serious sit-down with a crack team of biologists, geologists, and medical professionals hovering around the Operation Hushpants booth.

“Maybe consider not on this weird mission if they won’t even offer to tell you about its purpose until after you’re out of stasis orbiting a planet whose location you don’t even know,” he suggests, quietly and earnestly. “Maybe just find any other job in the entire world instead! Your skills are transferable anywhere! Except you,” pointing to the geologist, “you’re useless.”

And so, lives are saved, except Fifield, who still grumblingly goes aboard the alien ship with the most precise location technology the future can buy, and gets lost in a two-way tunnel. No one misses him.


“THEY’RE AFRAID OF WATER, I’M FROM THE FUTURE,” Bruce Willis shouts as he appears in the cellar amid the rattling thumping terror of the alien invaders.


Bruce Willis, unable to bring himself to tell them that the future holds only a handful of other films with even less plausible premises from the same man who’s controlling them now, throws himself into the fray to be consumed, closing his loop and avoiding a very awkward conversation.

My Dinner with Andre

Bruce Willis shows up during appetizers to tell Wally that, forty years from that very night, he’ll die of heart failure in his sleep. After a contemplative sip of wine, Wally says, “That’s not a bad span, all things considered.”

“I agree,” says Bruce. “Plus, by then, you won’t even be living in New York.”

“NO,” says Andre, gleefully, signaling for another chair and some more drinks.

Bruce spends the evening chatting with the two friends, an evening of soul-searching and the state of the world. Before going back to the future, Bruce Willis visits himself as a child and tells himself to befriend Wally twenty years in the future so he can be at Wally’s deathbed, forty years from now, and travel back to tonight to seal the bond of friendship. Some time loops are just understated, that’s all.

Lord of the Rings

“Your uncle has a magic ring,” says Bruce Willis, sliding into a seat across from Frodo in a booth of the Hobbiton pub. “It makes him invisible. It has to be destroyed, and if you try to do it it will just be a huge mess everywhere. I’m here to destroy it for you.”

“Shut up, old man,” says Frodo. “I hate you.”

Bruce, realizing Frodo is totally shitfaced and also pulling a Joseph Gordon-Levitt when that is totally uncalled for, decides to cut his losses, and gets up to head for a real party city like Rivendell.

He whispers only, “Enjoy those ten fingers, pal,” before he vanishes into the night.

Kingdom of Heaven

Wait, no, scratch this one. Turns out everyone in that entire movie told Orlando Bloom what was going to happen in the future, every day, all the time, and he didn’t listen. There’s nothing Bruce could have done. Stand down, Willis. Sorry about that.

Obviously this is just a small selection of the places where he can do good – the world is full of movies just begging for Bruce Willis to sit some people down and explain their bad choices to them. Hopefully the success of Looper will mean some sequel potential, and Bruce Willis will suit up to once again make the one-way trip back in time and try to save some dummies from themselves.


Comments are closed.