The Last Boy Scout

The Last Boy Scout

Theatrical poster
Directed by Tony Scott
Produced by Joel Silver
Michael Levy
Screenplay by Shane Black
Story by Shane Black
Greg Hicks
Starring Bruce Willis
Damon Wayans
Danielle Harris
Halle Berry
Music by Michael Kamen
Cinematography Ward Russell
Editing by Stuart Baird
Mark Goldblatt
Studio Geffen Pictures
Silver Pictures
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date(s) December 13, 1991
Running time 105 minutes
Country USA
Language English
Box office $59,509,925

The Last Boy Scout is a 1991 action film starring Bruce Willis as a former Secret Service agent, now working as a private detective, and Damon Wayans as a retired professional football player. The two join forces to solve the murder of Wayans' character’s girlfriend (played by the then-little known Halle Berry). The movie was produced by Warner Bros. Pictures and Geffen Pictures and directed by Tony Scott.

Contents

Synopsis

During a rainy football game between fictional teams from Los Angeles and Cleveland, star running back Billy Cole (Billy Blanks) receives a threatening phone call during half time from someone named Milo (Taylor Negron), warning him to win the game or lose his life. Cole ingests PCP and, in a drug-induced rage, brings a firearm onto the field. Cole shoots three opposing players to make it to the end zone. As the police move in, Cole kneels down and announces "Ain't life a bitch?" before shooting himself in the head.

Joe Hallenbeck (Bruce Willis), a former U.S. Secret Service agent-turned private investigator, discovers that his wife (Chelsea Field) is having an affair with his best friend and sometime business partner, Mike Matthews (Bruce McGill). Hallenbeck's indifference and lack of anger towards either of them frustrates his wife, as she wants his attention. Outside Joe's house, Mike is killed in a car explosion, after giving Joe an assignment to act as bodyguard for a stripper named Cory (Halle Berry).

Beginning his assignment that night at the bar where Cory works, Joe immediately crosses paths with her boyfriend, former football star James "Jimmy" Alexander Dix (Damon Wayans), who had been banned from professional football for gambling. After an annoyed Jimmy takes Cory away, Joe decides to wait outside, where he is attacked and taken away to be executed. As Joe turns the tables on his would-be assassin, Jimmy and Cory leave the bar in separate cars. Cory is hit from behind and, stopping to confront the other driver, is shot dead by the hitmen in the car.

At the police station, and later at Joe's house, Jimmy and Joe bond over their past and present failings. They decide to work together to solve Cory's murder.

At Cory's house, Jimmy and Joe discover she had proof that Sen. Baynard, currently the chairman of the Senate commission to investigate gambling in professional sports, is being bribed by Los Angeles football team owner Sheldon "Shelly" Marcone (Noble Willingham). Cory had learned of the men's agreement and tried using her knowledge as leverage to allow Jimmy to return to football, in turn prompting her murder by Marcone's men. Approached by more hitmen, Joe blows up his car to kill the assassins, destroying Cory's evidence in the process.

After another police interrogation, Joe takes Jimmy home and meets his daughter Darian (Danielle Harris), later finding Jimmy in his bathroom attempting to use drugs; enraged, Joe destroys the drugs and throws Jimmy out. As Jimmy leaves, Darian asks him to sign a football trading card featuring Jimmy Dix. As he signs, she reveals that Joe had been a fan; when Jimmy was busted, Joe stopped watching football. He leaves her with the card, with his signature and the words, "To the daughter of the last Boy Scout."

The next morning, the police, having learned of Mike's affair with Joe's wife, decide Joe must have killed Mike for revenge and move to arrest him, but Marcone's top henchman, Milo, captures Joe first. Marcone reveals himself and explains Sen. Baynard has proven too expensive to bribe, so Marcone plots to murder him by switching a briefcase of money intended for Baynard's men with one containing a bomb. He orders Milo to frame Joe for the murder before executing him, but Joe is rescued by Jimmy and Darian before escaping in Jimmy's car. They manage to acquire both briefcases after running the bodyguards and Milo off the road; however, Milo survives and kidnaps Darian after Joe leaves her to wait for the police.

Ordered to bring the cases to Marcone's stadium office to save Darian, they appear trapped, but Jimmy creates a diversion, allowing them to fight their way free. Knowing Milo will attempt to shoot Baynard, Joe goes after him while sending Jimmy to warn Baynard. Jimmy attempts to shout a warning to Baynard in his nearby corporate box, but is unsuccessful. Grabbing the game ball, he throws it at Baynard, knocking him down just as Milo shoots. Before Milo can shoot again, Joe engages him, knocking Milo to the edge of the platform, where police shoot him several times, causing him to fall off, into the blades of a circling helicopter.

Joe and his wife decide to reconcile. The suitcase of money is recovered and the fleeing Marcone escaped with the wrong briefcase, and is killed when he attempts to open it. At the end of the film Joe and Jimmy talk of a partnership as they walk off down a sidewalk.

Cast

Awards

The Last Boy Scout was nominated for two MTV Movie Awards.

  • Best Action Sequence - For the helicopter blade sequence
  • Best On-Screen Duo - Bruce Willis & Damon Wayans

Reception

The film performed under expectations given the star power and hype surrounding the then record price paid for the screenplay by Shane Black ($1.75 million).[1] Roger Ebert gave the film three stars, saying it was "a superb example of what it is: a glossy, skillful, cynical, smart, utterly corrupt and vilely misogynistic action thriller".[2] It has a 43% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and 6.7 out of 10 on the Internet Movie Database. Reviews were mixed, and some critics cited the Christmas time release for such a violent film as a reason for its sluggish box office.[3] [4] [5] [6] It grossed $7,923,669 in its opening weekend, and the total gross was $59,509,925.[7] [8]

References

External links


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