The Last Boy Scout is set in Los Angeles where Joe Hallenebeck (Bruce Willis) works as a private detective, Joe gets a call from his best friend & fellow private detective Mike Matthews (Bruce McGill) offering him a job protecting a stripper named Cory (Halle Berry). Later that morning Joe discovers that Mike is having an affair with his wife Sarah (Chelsea Field) but still accepts the job since he needs the cash, while keeping an eye on Cory he is attacked & knocked out & Cory is shot dead in front of her ex pro-football player boyfriend Jimmy Dix (Damon Wayans). Affter being let go by the cops Joe & Jimmy team up to find out the truth behind Cory's murder & they discover a plot to legalise sports gambling & an attempt to assassinate a US senator. Up to their necks in trouble with people trying to kill them left, right & center as well as the cops after them Joe & Jimmy decide to save the day & take the bad guy's down...
Directed by Tony Scott I will openly & freely admit that I have a real soft spot for The Last Boy Scout, I just think it's almost perfect at what it sets out to do & I find it a very entertaining film to just sit down & watch. I must have seen The Last Boy Scout a dozen times or so over the years & it never fails to entertain or make me laugh & there's not many films out there I can say that about, for instance I recently saw Face/Off (1997) again for the first time in years & I was extremely disappointed by how dull it was & that it just wasn't anywhere near as good I remembered it but watching The Last Boy Scout again last night it was definitely every bit as good as I remember it from when I first saw it all those years ago. There are several reasons why I like The Last Boy Scout so much, for a start it's one of those infinitely quotable films full of filthy foul mouth one-liners that are genuinely funny & never fail to at least raise a smile. The action is very violent & at times maybe a little too much emphasis is given on hurting people but the set-pieces which include car chases, shoot-outs, fights & explosions are fun & varied enough to stand out. The plot is a little weak & the main story about a corrupt senator & a businessman trying to legalise gambling is a bit lacklustre but the character's really make it work. Joe Hallenbeck the down on his luck, bitter & cynical detective is great as the hero, he has his flaws but that's good & you do end up really liking the guy by the end of the flick while the Jimmy Dix character is a more clichéd black partner to bounce jokes off type of guy but he holds his own & he too also becomes rather likable by the end although he never seems that upset about witnessing the love of his life Cory get viciously gunned down in front of him. The Last Boy Scout is a mix of some of the best bits & ideas from classic action flicks like Beverly Hills Cop (1984), Lethal Weapon (1987) & Die Hard (1988) but that's no bad thing, I mean if your going to steal you might as well steal from the best, right? The bad guy's aren't that good or overly memorable but nothings perfect I suppose.
The films pace is a little slow to start with but the funny one-liners come thick & fast to keep one entertained. The violence is often excessive & there's a lot of killing, punching & general hurting of people. The action scenes are fairly well done although I am not sure how a car ends up falling straight down into a pool when it clearly has forward momentum as it launched itself off the roof of a house. The film is full of profanity & bad language so if you don't like swearing The Last Boy Scout is not the film for you although I never got the impression that it was swearing for the sake of swearing & most of the profanity is very funny. Apparently the original script was quite different as the entire last third of the film was to be set on water & Hallenbeck's grudge again the senator (who was the President in the original script) was different & the senator's son Louis (who isn't even in the final shooting script) was to be one of the main villains.
Obviously blessed with a decent budget the production values are high & it's well made. Apparently music composer Michael Kamen hated The Last Boy Scout when he first saw it & only wrote & provided the score for it because of his personal friendship with Bruce Willis & producer Joel Silver. Bruce Willis is a likable guy & he was just born to lay these foul mouthed wisecracking hero types & puts in a great performance here while his buddy buddy partner Damon Wayans does fine too although I think a young Danielle Harris is also great as Joe's foul mouth daughter with an attitude.
The Last Boy Scout is a real guilty pleasure from the 90's that holds up extremely well even today, it's go some great action, some hilarious one-liners that are guaranteed to have you quoting them to your mates & Bruce Willis probably the best action film star of recent times & any film that kills off the supremely untalented Halle Berry has got something going for it.
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