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'The Last Boy Scout' Is Basically A Parody Of '90s Action Movies

Updated July 12, 2019 653 votes 61 voters 3k views13 items

List RulesVote up the wildest moments in the movie.

In 1991, the film that Roger Ebert dubbed "the future" was released on an unsuspecting world, leaving nothing but chaos and awful one-liners in its wake. The Last Boy Scout is truly one of the most bananas '90s action movies ever, and fed into the stereotype of '90s fever dreams by making fun of its own awareness. 

The movie is all overblown bravado and a limitless amount of ammo. Bruce Willis and Damon Wayans star as a pair of mismatched, down-on-their-luck, cool guys who handle every situation with a smirk. Threaten their lives and they shrug; drop them off an overpass and they take a bow. The Last Boy Scout has gone down in history as one of the most ridiculous '90s thrillers ever made, but that’s exactly what filmmakers were going for. 

  • 5

    The Plot Is Hard To Follow

    Although The Last Boy Scout is fun to watch, the plot is both inorganic and difficult to follow. Roger Ebert said it "could have been rewritten out of the Lethal Weapon movies by any film school grad."

    The story involves Halle Berry's character, Cory, blackmailing the owner of a football team who is trying to convince a senator to legalize sports gambling. The football team owner has a group of hitmen at his disposal who are taking people out with C4 - including the detective trying to protect Cory.

    Somehow, Willis's Hallenbeck gets mixed up in the whole thing and starts working with Wayans's Dix to bring down the team's owner. What's worse is that Hallenbeck's daughter is along for the ride, putting the child right in the middle of the conflict and in plenty of threatening situations. 

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  • 6

    Bruce Willis's Character Is Like A Parody Of A 'Tough Guy'

    Bruce Willis tends to play characters who are tougher than your average action hero, but as Joe Hallenbeck, Willis is tasked with fulfilling the full caricature of the "tough guy" trope. As a down-on-his-luck detective who's also an ex-Secret Service agent, Willis takes out every bad guy he meets, regardless of what they're carrying. 

    Throughout the film, he asks multiple people "head or gut" before punching them in whichever spot they pick. When he meets Wayans's character, he literally catches the ex-football player's fist; whenever someone has Willis cornered, he tells them "your mother" jokes before inevitably overpowering them; and men ask to shake his hand or compliment him on being so tough - even when they're bad guys. 

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  • 7

    The Leads Have Comically Unrealistic Backstories

    Action heroes tend to have overwrought or just plain ridiculous backgrounds. The audience is generally supposed to set aside their disbelief and ignore the improbability of the hero being a decorated veteran from the future, a billionaire who's great at karate, or a billionaire genius who can fight robots. The backstories of the heroes played by Bruce Willis and Damon Wayans in The Last Boy Scout are even harder to wrap your brain around. 

    Willis plays a down-on-his-luck former Secret Service agent who once saved saved the president and is respected by literally every character. Seriously, multiple characters ask to shake his hand. Wayans plays a former star quarterback who was fired from the league after he was caught gambling. In his time away from the game, he dates an exotic dancer and defends random women because he's a really good guy. Oh, and he has his college football number tattooed on the back of his head. 

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  • 8

    A Car Detonates While Submerged In Water

    Most fictional films are not held to the standards of scientific accuracy, and action movies tend to take full advantage of this, with heroes escaping their vehicles just before their engines burst or after they're submerged in water. The Last Boy Scout, however, takes things one step further. After Hallenbeck and Dix escape a cadre of bad guys in a stolen car, they careen down a hill to safety. The bad guys that give chase aren't so lucky. 

    The car driven by a set of nameless villains skids across a garage and flips upside down into a swimming pool. Then it inexplicably bursts into flames. The stunt is a meta-commentary on the overblown set pieces of action films and, to be fair, it's kind of awesome. 

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