Starring: Bruce Willis, Damon Wayans, Chelsea Field
Director: Tony Scott
Running Time: 105 mins
The Last Boy Scout is an American film about a cynical detective on a low who teams up with an ex-quarterback to get to the bottom of a bizarre case where murders were committed during an American football match.
The point of The Last Boy Scout is to give an entertaining action story whilst also parodying the films of Bruce Willis in the aftermath of Die Hard, and the 80s action genre in general. However, I don’t think it really achieves that so well. Of course, there are some good action set-pieces here, and with Willis in his heyday, you can’t go wrong, but I didn’t find as much enjoyment with The Last Boy Scout as I really would have liked.
Before we get into that, however, let’s start on the plus side, beginning with the action. In this film, despite my preoccupations about the plot which I’ll get to in a minute, the action sequences are great. They’re a little scarce at times, but when they turn up, it kicks the film back into life, and makes for by far the most entertaining parts of the entire movie.
From a couple of cool car chases to an insane and exciting final act, The Last Boy Scout does a good job at providing thrills and spills when it comes to the big action, helped further by Tony Scott’s direction, and Bruce Willis’ impressive performance.
Sometimes it feels a little odd to call an action movie performance ‘impressive’, but I think Bruce Willis deserves it here. The same can’t really be said for any of his co-stars, but he manages to give us exactly what this film needs. He plays a cynical detective who’s down and out, and he puts that character on very well, but rather than being overly drab and down in the dumps (like he unfortunately is nowadays), Willis is full of life, bringing great comedy to the table as well as his iconic action capabilities.
That’s what I liked about The Last Boy Scout, but there was one thing that really pulled this film down away from being a hugely fun and enjoyable film, and that was the story. I know that the atmosphere that this movie was going for was a mix of parody and genuine action, but for me, that idea got really mixed up and lost in the midst of the plot.
It’s your generic action movie story with a few more swear words thrown in there, so there was never anything that really got me excited about this film. At times, it feels far too dark and serious to be a satire of action movies, leaving you confused as to whether to laugh or bite your nails, and at other times, the story is just so convoluted and lacking in intelligent development that there’s no reason to really care about the ‘high stakes’ of the plot.
Overall, The Last Boy Scout is an okay film. The poor story and confused atmosphere bring it down from being a fun action parody, but Bruce Willis’ performance and the action sequences do make for moments of enjoyment regardless, and that’s why I’m giving it a 6.9.