Forgotten Action Cinema: The Last Boy Scout

When I was just a snot-nosed punk with nothing better to do than watch movies all day, I absolutely adored director Tony Scott’s hyper vulgar 1991 buddy action flick “The Last Boy Scout.” And I don’t mean ironically. I thought it was legitimately badass, and once argued with a friend that it was a better experience than “Lethal Weapon.” Yeah, I went there. Like I said, I was a pretty devoted fan. However, it’s easily been 20 years since my last viewing, and I have to admit that time has not been kind to this goofy little actioner. Don’t get me wrong — the movie is still awesome, though I’m not overly surprised that I found a copy at Big Lots for three whole dollars. Everything about the flick is shoddy, from the jokes to the acting to Scott’s half-hearted attempt at aping Hong Kong action movies. What’s peculiar about this particular cinematic misfire is the number of genuinely talented folks working both in front and behind the camera. Although Scott isn’t the most accomplished director on the planet, he usually gets the job done with a fair amount of style. The same can be said for Willis; he’s no slouch as an actor, though you wouldn’t know it from his turn here. Wayans, meanwhile, is just Wayans — you get what you pay for and that’s about it. And while I love the “fallen football star teams up with jaded private detective” premise, the filmmakers don’t really do anything interesting with it. But hey, at least the opening with Billy Blanks is still kind of cool. It makes no sense in the grand design, but it’s definitely a fantastic way to get an otherwise forgettable action experience off the ground. Still, I’m perfectly satisfied with my three dollar purchase. Plus tax, of course.