The Last Boy Scout (1991) Directed by Tony Scott. With Bruce Willis, Damon Wayans, Chelsea Field, Noble Willingham, Taylor Negron, Halle Berry and Danielle Harris.
Twenty-one years on and Tony Scott’s ‘The Last Boy Scout’ plays like an overloaded, low-rent Lethal Weapon clone. Writer Shane Black’s script sold for cool $1.75m, and it’s true that the wisecracking dialogue often overshadows the now dated looking action shootouts as the films standout element.
With Bruce Willis on agreeably sarcastic form, ‘Boy Scout’ operates as more a John McClane comedy stand-up routine, than it does an exciting action thriller. In the wake of Richard Donner’s hugely successful Lethal Weapon series, Tony Scott’s film seems something of an afterthought, that without the charismatic presence of its stubbly star, would be long since consigned to the ‘cheap n’ nasty’ bargain bucket. Damon Wayans’ chirpy presence as Willis’ ‘partner’ makes little sense, as do the line-up of the bad guys who spend plenty of time behaving in a sinister fashion, while explaining their elaborate ploys, only to moments later find themselves foiled by our underrated heroes. Danielle Harris as Willis’ troublesome, foul-mouthed teenage daughter is all shades of annoying as another thorn in our protagonist’s side.
It’s stupid, painfully obvious and far too eager to please. Occasionally the joke-laden script might raise a titter or two, but as a whole, it lacks the soul of its peers and might live in the memory of those who saw it upon release as a better film than it actually is. All two stars belong to Bruce Willis. 2/5