JOE’s Top Sci-fi/Action movie pick – The Last Boy Scout
A guy much smarter than JOE once said that Last Boy Scout writer Shane Black’s ace scripts read like “a guy telling you a story in a bar”. Really what that breaks down to is that his stuff has a distinctive tone and above all else, personality.
Directed by the late and often great action helmer Tony Scott, The Last Boy Scout was inexplicably a flop upon its initial theatrical release in 1991. This despite the film giving Bruce Willis arguably his best role – other than a certain “dumb Irish flatfoot (Die Hard)” of course.
This criminally under-seen film subtly turns the action flicks of the late 80s – some of which core creative trio Black, Willis and Scott had a massive hand in – on their head, while still delivering the type of thrills you’d expect for a blockbuster of that era.
Willis is the brilliantly named Joe Hallenbeck, a once decorated bodyguard to a slimy politician. When said politician got a little too aggressive during an S&M session with a unnamed female, Joe gives him a slap and promptly gets fired from his gig, which sends him on a downward spiral of drinking and generally being a bit of a degenerate bollocks.
When (a very young) Halle Berry gives Hallenbeck – now struggling PI – a gig, she is swiftly offed by some undesirables. Transforming into buddy territory, the PI teams up with a disgraced NFL star (Damon Wayans) to track down the man who ordered the hit and murder the bastard to death.
Full of some brilliantly quotable scenes and boasting the kind of fun action sequences you’d expect from a Tony Scott joint (the opening is absolutely fantastic), if you haven’t seen The Last Boy Scout then we demand you purchase the DVD pronto.
One of the most fun action films you’ve never seen.