Wednesday, September 07, 2016

VHS WEDNESDAY: Kickin' Off the Season with THE LAST BOY SCOUT (1991) starring Bruce Willis, Damon Wayans

There was a time – back in the early 90s – when the events of THE LAST BOY SCOUT (1991) seemed ludicrous. Entertaining, yes, but ludicrous all the same. But with each passing season and its corresponding murder convictions, suspensions for domestic abuse, PED scandals and extravagant, choreographed primetime intros, are we that far away from a player pulling a gun on another player on the field? In other words, the NFL season starts tomorrow night so it's a great night (or day) for football and Evan Romero's look at this Sleazy Sportsman Hall of Famer. Take it away Evan – with a little help from Bill Medley... 

Ah, football season. The time of year for arguments to break out on Facebook over whose team is better and for football fans to get drunk and kill each other. It happens to coincide with our Fearless Editor hitting me up and desperately begging for VHS action film reviews. "Action! Action! I need action! Bullets, explosions, manly men with manly egos doing manly things! What have ya got, Evan?" Hmmm... Football season, manly men, bullets flying, shit blowing up... "How about THE LAST BOY SCOUT?" I say. His joyful scream sounds like a wolf with ragged vocal chords attempting a falsetto. "Yes, yes! Bruce Willis! Damon Wayans! Bullets and football! Stuff goes boom! Send it on over!"

Private investigator Joe Hallenbeck (Bruce Willis) is given the task of watching an "exotic dancer," Cory (Halle Berry), who's been having some problems with some goons. Sounds pretty routine. But when Cory ends up a victim of a professional hit, Joe knows somethin' ain't right. Further investigation shows that Sheldon Marcone (Noble Willingham), owner of the L.A. Stallions, put the hit on Cory – who may have been blackmailing Marcone. Teaming up with ex-L.A. Stallions quarterback Jimmy Dix (Damon Wayans), Joe sets out to solve the murder and put the goons on the bench.

When people do the HIGH FIDELITY list shit and ask me for my Top 5 Action Movies to Watch on a Sunday Afternoon, THE LAST BOY SCOUT is amongst them. To me, the film has it all: fun heroes, despicable villains, exciting and rousing action sequences, lots of violence, one-liners aplenty, and solid comedy. Revisiting the flick after all these years, I expected to find myself jaded and on the verge of falling asleep. Nope. This film still rouses feelings in me that not even the anticipation of great sex can do. I just sit there on the edge of my seat, eyes wide and glued to the screen, spasms of elation racing through my body that make me look like a man with Parkinson's having a seizure.

Willis and Wayans are perfect in their roles. Their chemistry is so great it's hard to believe they hated working with each other and actually despised each other (so much for a sequel). And how can we forget about slimy ol' Milo, played with sleazy perfection by the late Taylor Negron? Hell, ALL the actors here, even those in bit parts, create memorable and fun characters you just can't help but love or hate. Even that "pimp-lookin' motherfucker with a hat" shines in his very brief time on screen.

The action scenes had me on the edge of my seat the entire time – even though I already knew what was coming. The final confrontation between Milo and Joe still ranks as my favorite scene, one that I often rewind and watch again. My only major gripe is that some of the violent scenes are trimmed after it was originally rated NC-17. Imagine just how bloody Milo's demise would have been had the scurvy cocksuckers at the MPAA left their hands off it! Bastards!

But the comedy is where THE LAST BOY SCOUT truly shines. It has more wit and one-liners than any action flick has a right to have and they are guaranteed to have you running to the end zone with laughter, "and then some."

THE LAST BOY SCOUT scores a touchdown in every aspect and is guaranteed to be enjoyed by all. So grab a beer (preferably a craft beer) and your football buds and check it out. I mean, it's better than going to a game and risking death at the hands of drunken, enraged fans... – Evan Romero

Evan Romero is a regular contributor to the pages of ER and spends much of his time reading morally questionable books and watching movies no sane person would touch. He is the vocalist/bassist for the punk band Porno Holocaust (you can find them on Facebook and listen to some demos if you’re inclined). You can read more of his reviews at or at He last wrote about THE TOXIC AVENGER PART III for Troma Tuesday.

THE LAST BOY SCOUT is available from Amazon.

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