Feb 7th, 2019
We try to tackle this sports movie in our The Last Boy Scout (1991) VHS Movie Review.
The Last Boy Scout was released to United States theaters on December 13, 1991. The budget for the film was $75 million and had a box office of $59.5 million. Other movies in the theater at the time were Hook, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, The Addams Family, Beauty and the Beast, My Girl and Cape Fear. The Last Boy Scout finished 2nd in its opening weekend at $7.9 million behind Hook at $13.5 million.
Directed by: Tony Scott (Top Gun, Beverly Hills Cop II)
Produced by: Joel Silver (Lethal Weapon and Predator) and Michael Levy (Die Hard 2)
Screenplay by: Shane Black (Lethal Weapon and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang)
Story by: Shane Black and Greg Hicks
Distributed by: Warner Bros.
Bruce Willis as Joseph "Joe" Cornelius Hallenbeck
Damon Wayans as James "Jimmy" Alexander Dix
Chelsea Field as Sarah Hallenbeck (Teela from Masters of the Universe)
Noble Willingham as Sheldon Marcone
Taylor Negron as Milo (Russell from Bio-Dome)
Danielle Harris as Darian Hallenbeck
Halle Berry as Cory
Bruce McGill as Mike Matthews (Animal House)
Kim Coates as Chet (Sons of Anarchy)
Chelcie Ross as Senator Calvin Baynard (Major League)
Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema Century Collection
VHS Back of the Box Description
The Last Boy Scout is the Super Bowl of action movies, a flat-out blitz of excitement, blow-you-away special effects and hilarious gimme-five humor set against the world of pro football.
Bruce Willis and Damon Wayans star as a seedy detective and disgraced quarterback, teaming to dodge ambushes, fire off one-liners and bust chops. When the going gets tough, they get tougher. And funnier. They came to play. And to settle a score in this raging fireball where bigger is better, hits are harder and bad guys end up deader.
Sending in plays from the sideline are guys with experience screenwriter Shane Black (Lethal Weapon), producer Joel Silver (the Die Hard and Lethal Weapon films) and director Tony Scott (Top Gun). Along with Willis and Wayans, they ensure The Last Boy Scout isn't like other films. Be prepared.
-Shane Black wrote this after struggling with Lethal Weapon 2 and a break up that triggered him to quit writing for almost two years:
"I was busy mourning my life and, in many ways, the loss of my first real love. I didn’t feel much like doing anything except smoking cigarettes and reading paperbacks. All things come around. Time passed, and eventually, I sat down and transformed some of that bitterness into a character, the central focus of a private eye story which became The Last Boy Scout. Writing that script was a very cathartic experience, one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. I spent so much time alone working on that. Days which I wouldn’t speak. Three, four days where I maybe said a couple of words. It was a wonderfully intense time where my focus was better than it’s ever been. And I was rewarded so handsomely ($1.75 million) for that script, it felt like a vindication and like I was back on track."
-At the time this was a record purchase for an original screenplay ($1.75 million).
-Joel Silver, Bruce Willis, and Tony Scott fought a lot on set. Silver was described as "insane, with long, horrible fits of sanity,” and was compared to a fighter pilot riding as a passenger. “As soon as you hit a little bit of turbulence, he’s right away going to throw the guy out of the window and take over the steering.”
-Bruce Willis and Damien Wayans DID NOT like working with each other.
-Assistant director James Skotchdopole (a fantastic second unit director, True Romance, and Untouchables) attributed the tension on-set to an “overabundance of alpha males on that project. Bruce was at the height of his stardom, so was Joel, so was Tony and so was Shane. There were a lot of people who had a lot of opinions about what to do. There were some heated, early-Nineties, testosterone-charged personalities on the line. It was a ‘charged environment,’ shall we say.” Writer Shane Black had to wrestle with the script. “I was forced to do more rewriting on that movie than on anything else I’ve done. There was tremendous pressure from the studio to get Bruce Willis and have this be a follow-up to Die Hard. He was reluctant, and rightly so: ‘This whole movie is about me saving my wife. I just did that in Die Hard.’ So they said, ‘OK, let’s minimize the wife, and while we’re at it, add a big finale.' There was a general pressure to make somehow more significant and better!
-The original cut for "borderline unwatchable."
-Different editors were hired in an attempt to address Scott's tendency for filming excessive coverage with multiple cameras. Editor Mark Helfrich (Predator and Rush Hour) described sorting through "mountains of raw material" to edit the first cut: “There was more footage shot for The Last Boy Scout than on any film I had ever worked on.”
-Expert action movie editor Mark Goldblatt (The Terminator/T2 and Starship Troopers) recalls it as one the most painful and frustrating experiences of his entire career and refuses to discuss it in interviews. Although, he did mention in a podcast interview that several other editors were hired and then fired before him and that Warner Bros. began testing the movie before it was finished.
-When editor Stuart Baird (Superman and Lethal Weapon) was hired, the film finally took a positive turn. Baird had been brought in to help re-edit other troubled productions, including Tango & Cash (1989) and Demolition Man (1993). He got the film edited down NC-17 to R with quick cuts away from the hardcore violence.
Nominated for two MTV Awards
-Best Action Sequence – For the helicopter blade sequence (Won by L.A. Freeway Scene – Terminator 2: Judgment Day)
-Best On-Screen Duo – Bruce Willis & Damon Wayans (Won by Dana Carvey and Mike Myers – Wayne's World)
Come back next week for another sports-related VHS Movie Review.
Discuss these movies and more on our Facebook page.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any comments or questions!