One of the last great action movies, before the days of massive CG explosions and battles kicked in, The Last Boyscout signalled the end of an era- No-one wanted to see the 'one man taking on an army' kind of film anymore, though cleverly this film shows the irony of that with its sharp script. Many critics complain about the sexism in the film (the same critics say nothing of this fact in Gone With The Wind and countless other 'Classics'. And don't give me any nonsense about how things were different back then- as long as there are men and women-there will always be sexism, and the treatment of women here is nowhere near as bad as they would have you believe). Halle Berry stars as a dancer, her character is not the sharpest, she falls for a simple trick and is killed. The men who treat women badly in the film are shown to be scumbags, and each of these men gets what they deserve. In the case of Joe's wife, she is strong, but side-lined for most of the film (she was screwing her husband's partner remember), but his daughter, played by the magnificent Danielle Harris- who makes Dakota Fanning look like she has never acted in her life, is witty, intelligent and strong, and saves the day on a couple of occasions. Yes it is a macho film, but it is aware of that fact, and that within this genre such a fact can be subverted. Admittedly this has been done much better in other films, but The Last Boy Scout still tries to be 'one for the men' mainly.
Now the plot- Joe, a washed up ex-bodyguard, played by Willis, is hired to protect a washed up NFL star's dancer girlfriend. Wayans- The NFL star doesn't like it, believing he can do the job himself. When she is killed, the two form an unlikely partnership and investigate her death. The uncover a plot which involves senators, and coaches, and they race to save the life of the scumbag Senator Willis once worked for. Joe's daughter is kidnapped, and he comes to remember that family is the most important thing he has, and he will not let anything harm that. After many explosive fights, the 3 square up against the bad guys in a final encounter.
The stunts are worthy of mentioning in the same breath as those of Die Hard, but as they are not in a confined space, they have less of an impact. However, the script is far superior than most action movies, and it must surly rank in the top 10 quotable movies of all time. It seems that every line of dialogue is repeatable. Wayans is excellent, almost equalling Eddie Murphy's BHCop performance, Willis is perfect as Joe, Harris proves she is easily one of the best actresses around, but for some reason she never gets the big parts, and the rest of the cast is strong. There are countless funny moments, the action (by Shane west of Predator and Die Hard fame) is adrenaline charged, and the direction is fast and controlled by Scott. This was widely overlooked for a variety of reasons, but all self-respecting action fans should definitely get this on DVD as you won't be disappointed. 9 out of 10.
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