The last of the great eighties action flicks...and the quintessential Bruce Willis hero
13 September 2008
Warning: Spoilers
This is the perfect film to demonstrate why Bruce Willis is still an action star to this day. In my opinion his machismo is second only to Clint Eastwood himself. Willis is kick-butt and always has been but he always proved it in gritty, witty, exploding, wicked action flicks and The Last Boy Scout gives us his perfect action hero which is kind of an amalgamation of all his other heroes. On top of that director Tony Scott knows how to tell a good story amidst gun fire, and explosions, possibly better than anyone else although I feel he has stumbled a few times with the likes of the deplorable Domino. But that was later in his career, this was when he was flying high and it shows. The movie has plenty of everything you'd want from the perfect action flick, Bruce Willis, wise cracking side kick, explosions, gun fights, kidnappings, undercover work, a good solid mystery, car chases and so on. The movie is gritty and slick and fun to watch. It's almost too dark to really do itself justice but it is still a wicked good time. Scott takes what could be a run of the mill action flick and gives it edge, gives it purpose and makes the most of a solid cast too.

As I said before Bruce Willis is the best of all versions of himself...or rather his heroes. His wise cracking, cigarette smoking John McLean of Die Hard, but then he's also estranged from his family, especially his daughter whom he loves dearly but hides it, he's a washed up alcoholic private detective who was once a secret service agent that saved the President until an over zealous bad Politician ruins him. How great a character is that for an action flick? Willis is perfect to look rough and tired and constantly ticked off and still give the perfect one liners and no matter how mean and cranky he is you root for him every minute. Damon Wayans is really the perfect balance in the film to Willis' character. Wayan's is the wisecracking side kick who ends up working with Willis much to his dismay but become the best of friends...again the perfect action flick mix. Wayan's character reminds me very much of a more athletic and crack addicted version of Eddie Murphy's Axel Foley...coincidence? Tony Scott directed Beverly Hills Cop 2 four years earlier. Wayans and Willis make an unusual team and yet they are terrific together. Halle Berry makes a small appearance in a role as Wayan's girlfriend and a major point in the entire mystery. Her role is graciously small (I'm not a huge fan.) Chelsea Field and Danielle Harris are Willis' wife and daughter. Field's is decent but doesn't get a lot of screen time but Danielle Harris is really something as his feisty, foul mouthed daughter. She's perfect for the part.

The Last Boy Scout has a very interesting plot and a really in depth mystery that unfolds very well as each piece of the puzzle falls into place but for an action movie I felt like it was missing a key element. The villain. Yes there are bad guys and there is a main mob boss who they are trying to take down ultimately but he's not at the forefront of the story really. He's not as much of an adversary as an annoyance that they try to take down. I would just like to have seen more connection between Willis, Wayan's, and the boss (played decently by Noble Willingham.) As with any action film you have to suspend a certain amount of belief but the last scene of The Last Boy Scout has always really annoyed me. It's not cool as much at is just a shade too much to swallow. It involves a football being thrown to block a bullet. Nonetheless you won't stop being entertained with the intelligent story and terrific performances by the buddies Willis and Wayans who work great together. I think if they wanted to they could have serialized this but it didn't do well enough apparently. I think it happens to be one of the more intelligent action flicks with plenty of everything you love and a good story to boot. Definitely check it out!! 8.5/10
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