Bonus! The Special Features Feature Featuring The Last Boy Scout
Ahh, The Super Bowl. A game so big that I’m not even entirely sure I can type that without getting sued. The Big Game maybe? I think I’ve seen that in supermarket commercials. Whatever. Football is evidently the most popular sport in America, so it should be easy to write a nice article on some Special Features around it, right? RIGHT?
Maybe not. I’ve seen films from Rudy to Invincible and enjoyed them all. I even Remember the Titans. Ugh, not proud of that one. The problem is, only one football film sticks out in my head, and it doesn’t have a release with any features. Ain’t life a bitch?
Though football is most associated with a Sunday like today, the proud few of know a singular truth: Friday night’s a great night for football. Written by Lethal Weapon‘s Shane Black, directed by Top Gun‘s Tony Scott and starring Bruce Willis and Damon Wayans, 1991’s The Last Boy Scout is one of the most underrated films in the action genre, perhaps only second to Scott’s Revenge. Though a commercial failure, the script once called Die Hard (yup, that’s where it came from), has proven an important moment for the genre at large. The funny thing is, it isn’t too clear who should get the lion’s share of credit for this one. Surrounded by production turmoil (the filming has the distinction of almost starting an actual riot at one point) and massive re-writes (though many were from Black), the film effectively ended the working relationship between Joel Silver, Bruce Willis and Tony Scott. A massive undertaking, resulting in an untenable amount of footage, the film would pass through the hands of at least seven editors. In my opinion, it worked out anyway.
With the darker, more brutal detective yarn of the original script lost as many cooks added their ingredients, The Last Boy Scout is still not only a lot of fun to watch, but well performed and even more interestingly shot. Sure, Scott had a lot of control taken away from him, but he was still the guy on-set day in and out. It wasn’t Scott’s full vision, but still his work. Black’s signature whit is also prominent throughout the film, though once aware, you can feel the pull away from his original aesthetic. Performances are all solid, with the late Taylor Negron’s Milo as one of the finest villains of the Nineties. Though rarely at the center of the action, Negron was a constant presence in film and television for thrity-five years, in The Last Boy Scout, he really got to show off his chops. Milo even gets one of the coolest…well, I’ll let you watch it for yourself. It is no secret that a film doesn’t truly come together until it is in the editing room, this particular one is a testament to that. The Last Boy Scout may not have been the movie, or the hit, that many involved intended, but might have still ended up a great one. I sure think it did.
Even without a special edition, The Last Boy Scout is widely available on all contemporary formats. Grab it on Blu-Ray, and you’ll be treated to Last Man Standing, another underrated Willis adventure.
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