Director: Shane Black
Cast: Bruce Willis, Damon Wayans, Halle Berry
Spoilers Within: No
Originally posted 29th June 2016 on Letterboxd.
Being a fan of Shane Black’s usual output – even championing Iron Man 3 as the absolute greatest Marvel film due to his cracking script – I thought it a good idea to revisit one of his earliest in Tony Scott’s The Last Boy Scout. Sadly (yet positively), Black has honed his craft greatly, leaving this one in the realms of passable-but-bland-films in both his canon, and that of the buddy-cop genre that it traipses through.
Bruce Willis is in full automatic mode, phoning in a John McClane-esque role via Martin Riggs, and the less said about Damon Wayans the better, who just blabs and lurches his way through every scene with little regard for character. You can tell that the script was during the infancy of Black’s career as it’s much more blatantly obnoxious than smartly obnoxious that his later career is so rife with. The good guys are hammy and vulgar, the bad guys are even worse: spouting lines that you once heard back in primary school and thought they were the cleverest things to reach your ears. What I’m saying is The Last Boy Scout hasn’t aged well, and the one-liners and quips just come across as juvenile rather than amusing.
Everything present here has been bettered since – sometimes by Black himself (which is something to note as someone who has perfected their style over the years rather than grown stale) – which shows how inessential this has become, to the point where I wouldn’t bat an eye if it ceased to exist.
This song, though. I’m very glad this exists.