- By Katie Nkrumah
Bruce Willis has failed to impress critics in the Broadway version of Stephen King’s hit thriller Misery.
The Hollywood star’s performance had been described as “deadly dull” and an “appallingly ill-conceived Broadway debut” by critics.
There have also been complaints that the 90-minute play lacked the tension of the book or Oscar-winning 1990 movie adaptation.
“You’re more likely to experience chills sitting in a tepid bath at home” the New York Times said.
“Though it is based on one of Stephen King’s most terrifying novels, the stage version of Misery will not, I promise, leave you cold with terror” it added.
The poor reviews will no dissuade many theatre goers who simply want to see a Hollywood action hero up close and personal in the flesh, however the play is suited precisely for this audience and nothing more.
The production sees Willis take up the role of author Paul Sheldon, played by James Caan in the movie version, who finds himself held captive by a deranged fan who rescues him following a car accident.
Willis has also come under heavy criticism for using an earpiece to feed him his lines through out the preview shows to which critics were invited.
What the Critics thought
Deadline: After describing Willis’ overall performance as “Meh”, the review continues; “If you can put aside the fact that the show offers about five seconds of actual, thriller-type suspense during its 90 intermissionless minutes, you can see glimpses of a younger and extremely likable Willis in Misery”
Entertainment Weekly: “Willis plays Paul with a flatness and passivity that feels too inert, even for a character who is bedbound.”
The Huffington Post: “struggles to project to the back of the theatre and delivers almost every line in a low-key, off-hand manner.”
The Hollywood Reporter: “Audiences who shell out to see a movie star may be satisfied; anyone hoping for a nuanced performance, not so much.”