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Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Quick Take: The Last Boy Scout

The Last Boy Scout (Tony Scott, 1991) is loud, brash, treats women like props, and it's ugly. But somehow it works, and I think because the creators understand the toxic masculinity on display is, in fact, toxic. Sure Joe Hallenback (Bruce Willis) gets his wife back and wins the respect of his daughter in the end, but there's no undoing the havoc wrought earlier in the film; Hallenback has still lost his best friend, Jimmy Dix (Damon Wayans) isn't getting his murdered girlfriend back, the football players ground down by the professional sports machine aren't escaping their fates.

Willis is really great in this as perhaps the bitterest private eyes I've ever seen, and his dialogue (courtesy of Shane Black, I suspect) is hilariously cynical. The action is intense yet just on the right side of believable, well-shot and edited, with gritty, violent, believable consequences. I enjoyed this much more than I thought I would. 

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