Film - The Last Boy Scout

The Last Boy Scout

Our own boy scout, Steve Taylor-Bryant, takes a look at his favourite Willis action film. Dyb dyb dyb...

Any film that starts with a rain sodden sports star blowing their brain out with a gun after shooting the opposition and scoring needs respect. That’s how director Tony Scott and screenwriter Shane Black started the film and, to be honest, the action only really stopped for bouts of expletive throwing by a thirteen year old girl. Honestly this is a compliment! Yes the film shows violence against women and a child swearing but delightfully Willis also takes a kicking and who hasn’t wanted to shoot a Wayans brother in their life?

Joe Hallenback (Bruce Willis) is an ex-Secret Service Agent who took bullets to protect President Jimmy Carter and is now a down and out heavy drinking heavy smoking private eye. His friend Mike (Bruce McGill) whilst sleeping with Hallenback's wife also offers Joe some protection work. A stripper called Cory (Halle Berry) is being stalked and whilst trying to help Joe see's her gunned down and ends up with her boyfriend, disgraced NFL star Jimmy Dix (Damon Wayans) as they try and work out what’s going on. The whole story revolves around corruption. The owner of a Los Angeles team wants to buy off senators to legalise gambling in the sport to add to his riches, however Hallenback and Dix have other ideas, culminating in an action packed stadium finale.

This was the early nineties, films were still suffering from the eighties hangover of women not being treated well and, whilst I can’t condone the portrayals of misogyny in The Last Boy Scout, it is epic and glossy and all you could possibly want from an action film. Willis's one line quips are ramped up leaving the Die Hard lines looking like a rehearsal for this movie. Damon Wayans, yes he was famous once, is superb as the junkie ex-star who has possibly the biggest ego in America, but he plays off Willis so well it is a shame Scott never made a sequel. Willis was the supreme action guy in The Last Boy Scout, handing out and taking beatings, using his daughter as leverage to steal a car, defeating a sniper and then dancing an old man jig on the stadium’s big screen, all leading to possibly Bruce Willis at his action best. I loved the Die Hard films and he is rightly lauded for his performances in the franchise, but if you want your John McClane just a bit harder, a bit more violent, and a hell of a lot funnier then watch this film.

Image - IMDb.
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