Review: [In Memory of Tony Scott 1944-2012] THE LAST BOY SCOUT (1991) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Review: [In Memory of Tony Scott 1944-2012] THE LAST BOY SCOUT (1991)

RATING: 2.5/5

Fresh out from the last year's blockbuster smash DIE HARD 2 (1990), phenomenal action superstar Bruce Willis tries out on stepping the shoes of buddy-movie genre. In the tradition of LETHAL WEAPON (1987), THE LAST BOY SCOUT gets pounded with similar treatment of serious exploration in term of hardcore characterizations while given both extension side of main plot and sub plot that clearly avoided the genre-trapping of mindless action movie extravaganza. What makes this movie more interesting is that it was penned by the famed Shane "LETHAL WEAPON" Black (no thanks to his overpriced script), producer Joel Silver and helmed by one of the most commercially-successful Hollywood filmmakers today, who is none others than Tony Scott himself. With such top-notch Hollywood filmmaking crew and a tough lead from Bruce Willis, what's not to like? Still, sadly though, the plot is smacks of retread and its familiar gimmick of LETHAL WEAPON-like storytelling opted for swaggering mannerism than compelling depth whatsoever.

Joe Hallenbeck (Bruce Willis), a former disgraced Secret Service agent, takes over as a bodyguard for Cory (Halle Berry), an exotic dancer, following the car explosion death of his colleague Mike Matthews (Bruce McGill), who also happened to sleep with Joe's wife, Sarah (Chelsea Field). But things get nasty when Cory is brutally gunned down by thugs, Hallenback is forced to join against Jimmy Dix (Damon Wayans), Cory's lover and a former L.A. Stallions quarterback with a million dollar arm and a nose for coke. The unlikely pair started to uncover a conspiracy involving sports betting and the mob, on which, at any circumstances, they have no choice but to stay alive for each other while bringing them down.

The movie tries hard to recapture the gritty magic of LETHAL WEAPON as everything here comes to expect: there are these usual characters' point-of-view, personal agendas, motivations, themes of trust, family matters, friendship, misunderstanding and much more in favor for further dramatic punch, but all this happens to be equally neglected by director Tony Scott.

Scott only interested on making his movie in a frenzied, usual MTV-like style to form a rousing, kinetic entertainment. His visual flair are favored to overshadow the implausibilities, including the one with a million-dollar question: What sport could carry on business as usual after one of its doped-up athletes (Billy Blanks) has shot several opponents and blown his brains out in front of hundred of thousand of spectators and of course on national TV? 

The plot here is at times heavy-handed and thankfully enough, the movie remains in game for pumped-up action. There are enough shootout, fistfight, explosion and of course a highlight of a dramatic car chase scene involving one of the cars is sending off crashing down of a mansion below the cliff before landing with a nasty splash into the calm pool. The dialogue is throughout wry and engaging enough with sarcastic humor, while the actors are looking great in terms of showy mannerism with both Bruce Willis and Damon Wayans deftly portraying their hard-boiled characters well-oiled.

THE LAST BOY SCOUT is surprisingly an underrated effort, and though it's a half-baked effort, action junkies will still have a great time enjoying this with a lasting impression.

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