The Last Boy Scout (1991) Review



The Last Boy Scout is a classic of the genre and reminds us why we all fell in love with Bruce Willis before he got bored with everything.

Plot: A down and out cynical detective teams up with a down and out ex-quarterback to try and solve a murder case involving a pro football team and a politician.

Review: I seem to have dropped the ball a lot recently as I could have sworn I’d reviewed this before but nay, I can’t find it anywhere. So today I will review one of my all-time favourite movies, The Last Boy Scout.

To me this is Bruce Willis’ best film after Die Hard; his character Joe Hallenbeck is one of the coolest movie heroes of all time. He chain smokes, drinks and is generally a dishevelled mess and yet he’s totally loveable. He’s a down on his luck detective whose wife is cheating on him and he may or may not have f**ked a squirrel to death last night.

Shane Black is on script duties and I think this might be his finest work; the buddy banter between Willis and Damon Wayans is hilarious and yet both of these men are down on their luck through their own decisions, so they end up feeling pretty sorry for themselves which only adds to the characters.

The film wasn’t a massive hit probably due to the quite brutal violence and Danielle Harris’ swearing which seemed to bother quite a few people at the time. Over the years it has grown into a cult classic though and rightly so.

You’ve also got a classic villain in the form of Milo, played by the late Taylor Negron and he’s just a hateful bastard in this. The story is actually quite out there and involves gambling and football but really it’s all just an excuse for violence, one-liners and Bruce Willis being cool.

The film has quite a dark tone and the opening scene remains incredibly shocking with Billy Blanks running on to a football field, shooting other players and then blowing his own brains out. Although dark, the original script was even darker with Joe’s opening line being “You wanna be a detective? Here’s what you do: Take a trusted friend, and imagine the worst thing, the most despicable thing, the thing it would never even cross their minds to do. Then assume they’ve already done it twice.” That’s the spirit!

We also get a few extra moments with Milo; at one point he is making a snuff film and one of his goons takes a chainsaw to a pornstar as she’s bound to a bed… can’t imagine why that was cut.

Anyway, back to the film; Michel Kamen provides the score and although not one of his best, it still does the job with some cool twanging guitars and loud brass during the action scenes.

Keep your eyes open for an early role from Halle Berry who plays a soon to be murdered stripper.

One of the best scenes is of course the “touch me again and I’ll kill ya!” which is just Bruce at his absolute best.

Overall, The Last Boy Scout is a classic of the genre and reminds us why we all fell in love with Bruce Willis before he got bored with everything.