Real Men Love The Last Boy ScoutBy Anthony Burch on March 27, 2008 - 9:00 am |
If you have not seen, or do not love The Last Boy Scout, you do not deserve to have a penis. Seriously. It's 105 minutes of Bruce Willis and Shane Black being hilariously violent badasses, and I don't have to tell you how much Real Men Love that sort of stuff.
It's the ultimate 90's action movie
Combine Shane Black (Lethal Weapon, The Long Kiss Goodnight, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang), Tony Scott (Top Gun, True Romance) and Bruce Willis (Bruce Willis) into one movie, and you've got everything that made the 90's a fucking awesome time for action movies. Shane Black's dialogue is as snappy as ever, Bruce Willis is playing the most down-and-out cop-on-the-edge in a long career of playing down-and-out cops-on-the-edge, and Tony Scott cranks his "tilt the camera a little bit and put a lot of smoke in every scene" filmmaking style to 11.
Not to mention, every single 90's action movie cliche imaginable is in this flick. In no particular order, The Last Boy Scout includes: a climactic scene at a sporting event, a dead stripper and a scene at a strip club with gratuitous nudity, an angry police chief (quite an accomplishment, considering Willis isn't technically a cop), a Texan bad guy, a scene where the Texan bad guy swims around in a well-lit indoor pool so we can understand how bad he is, a foul-mouthed kid, a third-act kidnapping of said kid, an interrogation room scene, a denouement in the suburbs, a car getting rammed off the road and tumbling down a cliff, an attempted assassination of a senator...this fuckin' movie has it all.
One of the oddest opening scenes in movie history
Would you like to see the guy who created Tae Bo running across a rainy football field? Would you like to see him make a break for the endzone, only to pull out a pistol? Would you like to watch as he begins shooting defensive linemen in the head on his way to a touchdown?
Yes, you would.
Last Boy Scout's opening scene is funny, violent, and ridiculous; in other words, it summarizes the tone of the rest of the movie, as all good opening scenes should do. There's really no motivation for Billy Blanks to start popping caps in the opposing team for any reason other than "he's angry and suicidal," but that's all you really need; the image of a rain-drenched football player blowing away his teammates before shouting "ain't life a bitch" and shooting himself in the head is strong and weird and absurd enough that you don't really need much of a reasoning behind it.
Jimmy pins a dude to a car
That is how you take a dude out. It also looks surprisingly realistic, given the lack of CGI or anything.
The ultimate male bonding movie
Joe Hallenbeck and Jimmy Dix are basically the biggest lowlifes on the planet; Hallenbeck was fired from the Secret Service for punching a senator in the face, and Jimmy was thrown out of the NFL for gambling and theft. They're gruff, irritable, arrogant badasses.
They're also BFFs.
If you just changed the gender of either protagonist, you'd literally have the exact structure of a romantic comedy: the two start out hating each other, then they get to know each other through necessity, then they befriend each other, then something happens and they despise one another, and then they finally overcome their differences and get married.
Granted, in Last Boy Scout you have to replace "get married" with "violently kill all the bad guys and save the senator," but the principle is more or less identical.
"Yes, officer. As a matter of fact, there is a problem..."
Firstly, as if there weren't enough 90's cliches, this guy -- a.k.a. the guy from Bio-Dome and Better off Dead -- plays the main baddie henchman, Milo. Secondly, he's got the single best line in the entire movie.
After Milo knocks out Hallenbeck and stuffs him into the backseat of his car, a cop approaches and flashes a badge. "Good morning, gentlemen," he says. "Is there a problem?"
Hallenbeck's revolver in his hand, Milo effortlessly and quasi-robotically responds, "Yes, officer, as a matter of fact there is a problem...apparently, there are too many bullets in this gun." Milo then proceeds to shoot the cop at least three times in the chest before dropping Hallenbeck's gun by the body. There is no better pre-murder one liner than this. Not one, in the history of cinema.
Hallenbeck asks for a cigarette
About 3/4 of the way through the movie, you'd assume the screenwriter wouldn't need to prove how much of a badass the Hallenbeck character is. We've spent roughly an hour watching the guy pummel people and talk his way out of sticky situations; we know he's cool, and we know he can take care of himself.
This is what makes the "got a light?" scene so goddamned funny. After Milo takes Hallenbeck to the bad guy's home, Hallenbeck asks another henchman (who has been endlessly mocking him) for a cigarette and a light. The first time, the henchman gives Hallenbeck the cigarette, but when Hallenbeck asks for a light, he punches him in the face. "Touch me again and I'll kill ya," Hallenbeck grunts.
He then asks for another cigarette, which he gets. When he asks for a light, the henchman almost gives it to him, but then punches him in the face. The henchman laughs hysterically for a few seconds, until Hallenbeck suddenly jumps up and SLAMS HIS NOSE INTO HIS GODDAMN BRAIN. The whole action takes less than a second, and the laughing henchman is dead before he hits the floor. It's sudden, it's brutal, and it's totally unnecessary to the plot or Hallenbeck's character. This is why it is hilarious.
Hallenbeck's daughter turned out fucking HOT
Holy shit. Holy fucking shit.
Hallenbeck's puppet show
Considering they're in an action movie, the heroes of The Last Boy Scout do a great deal of talking their way out of situations. This is, without a doubt, not a bad thing -- it's far more interesting to watch two badass characters get out of sticky situations using brainpower rather than dumb, brute force -- and it makes for some of the coolest moments in the film. Near the end of the flick, for example, Dix and Hallenbeck are being held at gunpoint when suddenly, Hallenbeck's Soon-To-Be-Hot Daughter shows up, holding her pet stuffed animal and talking to it.
Hallenbeck's Soon-To-Be-Hot-Daughter is almost shot by the henchmen, but they pause as she seems to be kinda crazy. She complains to Hallenbeck that she can't get her stuffed animal to talk: could he try? Hallenbeck reluctantly takes the animal, sticks his hand up its butt, and makes it talk like a puppet. After telling a few dirty jokes, Hallenbeck makes the puppet complain that he's got a hairball. The puppet coughs, and coughs, and BOOM -- one of the baddies gets a lead injection from the pistol Hallenbeck's daughter hid inside the puppet.
This leads to one of the coolest images in the film (which I couldn't screencap because the camera is moving and it looks really blurry): as Hallenbeck runs away, he provides cover fire for his friend and daughter by wielding a naked pistol in one hand, and a stuffed animal (belching fire and lead from its mouth) on the other.
"I swear to Christ if I survive this, I'm gonna dance a jig"
There's only one way to correctly celebrate having killed the guy from Bio-Dome and saved a senator in one fell swoop, and that's by dancing a goddamned jig. As Hallenbeck and Dix speed toward the showdown with the assassin, Hallenbeck swears that if he survives the case, he'll dance a jig.
The audience, and the other characters, naturally assume this is just a funny throwaway line; a kooky, totally uncool thing for Hallenbeck to say before he starts the killing. After the showdown finishes, however, Hallenbeck slowly, exhaustedly, and awkwardly begins...to dance a jig.
He doesn't just dance -- he specifically dances a jig, complete with odd arm movements, little hoppy steps, and some Irish-sounding background music. He winces with pain during every step of the jig due to the fight he was just in, which, again, makes the whole scene simultaneously hilarious and badass. Hallenbeck is in excruciating pain, but is true enough to his word, and happy enough to have killed all the bad guys, to actually get up and dance a jig simply to fulfill his promise. Hell yes.
Love is never having to say anything that isn't "you're a lying bitch"
While Last Boy Scout is indeed a man-tastic buddy movie through and through, Hallenbeck does have a subplot involving his wife. In such a testosterone-driven film, a romantic subplot might be tiresome or contradictory, but The Last Boy Scout handles the wife business with the manliness and misogyny befitting the rest of the movie.
Early on in the film, Hallenbeck's wife, having just cheated on him with his best friend, screams at him for not reacting in any significant way. She yells that she'd rather he call her a stupid bitch, and threaten to spit in her face, than simply stand there and emotionlessly stare at her as he does. By the end of the film, as Hallenbeck gains a new appreciation for life, he gives one of the most ironically romantic speeches ever:
"Fuck you, Sarah. You're a lying bitch and if the cops weren't here, I'd spit in your face."
Then they embrace, the music swells, and the romance is re-ignited. The moral of the story: women love insults and profanity, above all things.