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What’s Bruce Willis Doing Here?! Why He and Three Other Actors Should’ve Avoided Starring in Video Games


Bad movies often try to lure audiences in based on star power alone. Well, it turns out bad video games are no different. As the conventional wisdom goes, if you can’t go through the trouble of making a complex, compelling game, there’s only one thing to do: hire a movie star, get him to record a few hundred lines of dialogue, and start taking out print ads. Voil√†! You’re no longer producing a subpar action game — you’re producing a subpar action game starring Mickey Rourke.

We’ve assembled a list of the four worst movie-star-powered games of the past few decades. Read it after the jump.

Rogue Warrior (Mickey Rourke)
As a game, everything about Rogue Warrior is just plain bad. The level design is unimaginative, the gunplay is broken, and the story is practically nonexistent. The only thing Rogue Warrior has going for it is its excessive, beautifully immature use of profanity. When you spend sixty bucks on Rogue Warrior, you’re doing so for the chance to hear Mickey Rourke deliver lines like, “I go full fucking Faulkner, with lots of sound and fury.”

It really says something when the ludicrous hip-hop song that plays over the end credits (seriously — we’re talking about Mickey Rourke rapping) is more beloved than the game it’s attached to.

Apocalypse (Bruce Willis)
Not to be confused with Armageddon, the Neversoft-developed Apocalypse answers that age-old question: who would win in a fight between Willis and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse? Though the game remains a reasonably entertaining shoot-’em-up, through its combination of Robotron-esque game play and a 3-D world, Apocalypse fails on two fronts. First, Willis delivers his lines with a striking lack of conviction; he comes off less like Bruce Willis, Demon Killer, and more like Bruce Willis, Voice-over Actor. Secondly, Willis — destroyer of men, savior of worlds, cracker of wise — actually dies at the end of the game, after destroying the final boss. What a gyp.

Spy Hunter: Nowhere to Run (Duane “The Rock” Johnson)
Were it not for the Rock’s involvement, this PlayStation 2 racing game would remain nothing more than a forgotten, subpar attempt to update an arcade classic. As it stands, Nowhere to Run is a bizarre cautionary tale about likeness rights and Hollywood. The game was meant to serve as a tie-in for a larger Spy Hunter film, with the Rock playing the lead. Though the film never came out, the game did, leaving many players scratching their heads: why were they playing as the Rock? Why was the game constantly making references to events and characters it never fully explored? Why does my car automatically turn into a boat every few levels?

Actually, scratch that last item: that one doesn’t need explanation.

Postal 2 (Gary Coleman)
I hesitate to call Coleman a “movie star” in the same way I can’t really call Postal 2 a “game,” but both entities are still worth mentioning. Given that the first Postal game largely revolved around shooting lots of innocent people, and almost nothing else, the sequel needed some sort of weird gimmick to bring new gamers into the mix. For whatever reason, that gimmick turned out to be Coleman.

Coleman, playing himself, can be found in a shopping mall signing copies of his autobiography. This being a Postal game, the player has two options: he or she can behave like a normal human being and get an autograph or shoot at Coleman. Choosing the latter option turns Coleman into a machine-gun-toting, nearly invincible boss midget.

This is nowhere near as entertaining as it may sound.

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