Friday, June 14, 2013

Previously in Black: The Last Boy Scout

Were these words over a million dollars?  Today's film is The Last Boy Scout, the film that once held the record for the highest amount of money paid for a script.  Granted- it held that record for 62 days.  After that, the record went to Basic Instinct...and eventually back to Shane Black for The Long Kiss Goodnight.    Scout is a Buddy Cop Action Film with a unique Shane Black vibe to it.  It's a bit dated now, but holds up pretty well overall.  A grizzled Detective a former Pro-Athlete team up to solve a murder that hits too close to them.  They uncover a bigger conspiracy- in typical Shane Black manner- and will have to use their wits to survive.  This 1991 film features a few notable Actors on their way up, giving it up some extra appeal to a modern viewer.  To find out whether or not this Boy Scout deserves to be integrated, read on...
In an odd opening scene, a Football Player has a mental break during a game, shoots a bunch of players on the field and then himself.

That...that's far closer to reality than anyone could have predicted.
Bruce Willis here plays Bruce Willis Character Type A- a grizzled and sarcastic Detective.

To be fair, there is some more character depth thanks to his back-story.  Even so, that's all Script.  Willis pretty much just tries to coast through this one.
His character is a Private Detective with a not-so-fun life.  He takes a case from his friend- who turns out to be screwing his wife- only for the guy to be killed IRA-style.  Yeah, I'd still take that case.
The case involves protecting an Exotic Dancer played by...Halle Berry.  This movie's looking up!
Her boyfriend is Damon Wayans, playing a Football Player on the outs.  She tries to help him get in with some blackmail material against his boss, which ends about as well as you'd probably guess.
Willis' daughter is played by Daniella Harris, an Actress who famously has appeared in both actual Halloween films and both of Rob Zombie's Remakes.  That's your random trivia for the day!
Without SPOILING too much for you, the plot all leads back to a Football Game.  How they'd organize one so quickly after a mass shooting by a player is anyone's guess.  Never mind that a sitting U.S. Senator is there!
In a scene much like the Rooftop Fight from Last Action Hero (which Black has a Writing Credit on), Willis must stop an assassin from shooting the Senator.  This attempted assassination is brought to you by GMC Trucks!
The day is saved- naturally- and our heroes plan to team up...for some future film that never got made.  The film ends in typical Shane Black fashion, however, by having Willis explain that 'in the '90's, you can't just knock a guy out- you have to make a funny quip first.'  The End.
 If you missed it the first time, it's worth a look back.  Scout is not a perfect film by any means.  As I said, Willis is at the point where he started trying to coast- see Die Hard 2, Hudson Hawk, etc.  Director Tony Scott- R.I.P.- gets as much out of him as possible though and makes the movie look good.  A so-so DVD print hurts the film's visual appeal, so hopefully it's recent Blu-Ray release is more than just a port.  The film really soars when you just get to hear Shane Black's witty back-and-forth dialog.  Even in the hands of people I'm not super-huge fans of, it really works.  The Script also gives the Characters a tragic back-story that unfolds in typical 'I'm gonna tell you my back-story' moments throughout.  They add some nice layers to what can sometimes feel as a repackaged Riggs and Murtaugh.  The film also has some surface similarities to The Hard Way- also released in 1991-, which, oddly enough, would have similarities to Black's own Kiss Kiss Bang Bang over a Decade later.  That's just the kind of thing you notice when you watch as many movies as I do, I guess.  If you're one of the many people suddenly more familiar with Shane Black since the $1 billion success of Iron Man 3, do yourself a favor and see an early glimpse of where he was going.  If that's not enough incentive, watch the film to find out the context of this shot...
Next up, our world is under siege by Dragons!  The only thing worse is a muddled U.S./South Korean production that pleases nobody!  Stay tuned...

1 comment:

  1. So what, you tripped, slipped on the floor, and accidentally stuck your dick in my wife!?