Bruce Willis At The Movies: LOOK WHO'S TALKING TOO - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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Bruce Willis At The Movies: LOOK WHO'S TALKING TOO

When we think of Bruce Willis, the image conjured is often that of a rugged, tough-as-nails action hero – the likes of John McClane, David Dunn, or even Korben Dallas. Yet, just as the 90s dawned, Bruce Willis took an unexpected detour from dodging bullets and facing off against terrorists. Instead, he found himself voicing the inner monologue of an adorable baby named Mikey in "Look Who's Talking" and subsequently in its sequel, "Look Who's Talking Too."

The second installment of this whimsical journey released in the US on December 14, 1990. Directed by Amy Heckerling, the same talent behind the original movie and other beloved classics like "Clueless" and "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," "Look Who's Talking Too" delves into the next chapter of young Mikey’s life. This time, not only does he grapple with the arrival of a baby sister named Julie (voiced by Roseanne Barr), but also the ups and downs of his parents' relationship. The premise, as amusing as it was, continued with its unique narrative style - letting audiences hear the innermost thoughts of toddlers, delivered with the sardonic wit of seasoned Hollywood actors.

While the initial film soared to a surprising level of commercial success, the second struggled to replicate the same magic, pulling in about $47.8 million in the US and grossing approximately $119 million worldwide. Yet, amidst the plethora of "talking baby" films that emerged during this era, this series arguably remains the most iconic, largely due to its stellar voice cast and quirky premise.

Behind the scenes, "Look Who's Talking Too" saw a reunion of its original cast. John Travolta and Kirstie Alley reprised their roles as James and Mollie, continuing the palpable chemistry they shared on-screen. The film’s soundtrack too, reminiscent of the original, encompassed a mishmash of 50s and 60s tunes, expertly interlaced with scenes to emphasize the comedic undertones.

But it is, arguably, still Bruce Willis that is the star attraction here. The nuances he brought to Mikey were undoubtedly one of the film's strong points. His dry wit and snappy one-liners, often contrasting hilariously with Mikey's innocent actions, added depth and dimension to a toddler’s simple life.

Mike LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle commented, "Willis gives Mikey a sarcastic commentary that’s funny precisely because it's incongruous coming from a baby." On the other hand, Rita Kempley from The Washington Post felt the film was "more annoying than amusing," but conceded that the voice acting was a redeeming factor.

Heckerling's choice to collaborate with Willis wasn’t purely serendipitous. Willis has an uncanny ability to infuse characters, even just through voice, with a blend of humor, charisma, and relatability. It's this magnetism that’s made him one of Hollywood’s enduring stars. In "Look Who's Talking Too," he managed to convey Mikey’s growing pains, confusion, jealousy, and ultimate love for his baby sister – all through voiceovers.

Delving deeper into Heckerling's directorial journey, her penchant for humor and emotional depth is evident in her portfolio. After the "Look Who’s Talking" series, she went on to create the timeless "Clueless" – a reimagining of Jane Austen's "Emma" set in 90s Beverly Hills. With each film, she demonstrates an innate ability to tap into the zeitgeist of the era and present it with a humorous twist.

"Look Who's Talking Too," though not as critically acclaimed as some of Willis' other works or Heckerling's, still has its place in cinematic history. It encapsulates a time when Hollywood was experimenting, juxtaposing contrasting elements, and often creating unanticipated hits.

In conclusion, while "Look Who's Talking Too" may not be the defining film of Bruce Willis' illustrious career, it serves as a testament to his versatility. Willis' portrayal of Mikey, layered with wit, warmth, and genuine emotion, showcases his uncanny ability to breathe life into any character, reminding audiences of the range he possesses, beyond the action-packed roles he’s often associated with.

View all our Bruce Willis filmography retrospectives here.

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