Saturday, October 10, 2015


I didn't expect much from THE LAST BOY SCOUT (1991). Just look at the people involved. With stars Bruce Willis and Damon Wayans, a screenplay by Shane (LETHAL WEAPON) Black and direction by Tony (TOP GUN) Scott, the film practically screams generic, formulaic early '90s action/buddy film. But the movie goes completely off of the rails in the opening sequence and continues to spin wildly out of control for the rest of it's 105 minutes running time.

Consider this. The opening sequence takes place during a professional football game played at night. While Bill Medley sings "Friday Night's A Great Night For Football", a running back for the L.A. Stallions is carrying the ball and headed for the end zone. But he suddenly and inexplicably stops, draws an automatic pistol from somewhere within his uniform, shoots and kills an opposing would-be tackler and then puts the gun to his own head and pulls the trigger. Huh?

Cut to down on his luck Los Angeles private detective (and former Secret Service agent)  Joe Hallenbeck (Bruce Willis). Joe takes a job as bodyguard for a stripper named Cory (the lovely Halle Berry). While at the club, he meets James "Jimmy" Alexander Dix (Damon Wayans), a former professional football quarterback who was banned from the league on gambling charges and allegations of drug abuse. Joe and Jimmy form an uneasy alliance but they fail to prevent Cory from being killed in a gun battle that takes place outside of the strip club. It's a nicely staged action set piece except for one thing. In one scene it's raining. Hard. In the next scene, it's bone dry. Then it's pouring again. Then it's dry again.

Joe and Jimmy try to find out why Cory was killed and their investigation leads them to Sheldon Marcone (Noble Willingham), a corrupt football team owner who is trying to buy off members of a Senate committee investigating gambling in professional sports. Marcone has some very bad guys working for him and Jimmy and Joe cross paths with them several times in gun battles and car chases that are liberally laced with one-liners.

The action climaxes at another night football game where a sniper is set to shoot corrupt Senator Calvin Baynard (Chelcie Ross). It's a race against the clock for Jimmy and Joe to get to the stadium and prevent the killing. And here's another way in which the film drops the ball (no pun intended). Daytime aerial establishing shots clearly show the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. But when Jimmy and Joe emerge into the stadium, it's suddenly night and worse, they're not in the L.A. Coliseum. They're in a completely different football stadium, one which has luxury boxes, a feature not found at the Coliseum.

Perhaps I shouldn't quibble over such glaring continuity errors in what is essentially a mindless, popcorn action flick. It certainly doesn't take itself seriously so why should I? THE LAST BOY SCOUT isn't an entirely bad film but it's far from being an action film classic.  I will admit to being moderately entertained, but it's nothing I would ever want to see again.

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