THAT’S NOT ROTTEN! Actually, ‘The Last Boy Scout’ is About Corruption in Sports Ownership


If you consider yourself an action film junky and don’t have an opinion on the work of Shane Black, you might not like action films as much you think. Shane Black puts those, like me, who believe in the Auteur Theory in precarious situation. A Shane Black script is just as identifiable, if not more so, than the visual trademarks of the film’s directors, like Richard Donner, Tony Scott, or Renny Harlin. Even working in the factory of Marvel, which churns out blockbuster cinema at a prodigious rate, sometimes at the expense of auteurist quirks, Black still made Iron Man 3 feel like a Shane Black movie. So many of his motifs made it into the finished film – voiceover narration, a Christmas setting, witty banter, and certain old noir attitude – that it gave Iron Man 3 a feel different than everything else in the Marvel Universe.

At one time, Black was the biggest screenwriter in Hollywood. After the success of Lethal Weapon, Black sold his script for The Last Boy Scout for a then-record $1.75 million. And while the film was among the top 25 highest earners at the box office in 1991, it was considered a disappointment. Directed before Tony Scott was the foremost filmmaker in Chaos Cinema, The Last Boy Scout is another Black gem. It’s an engaging thriller featuring some of Scott’s best directorial work.


Bruce Willis plays Joe Hallenbeck, a former Secret Service agent now passing the time between hangovers as a private eye. Hallenbeck is called by a friend, Mike Matthews (Joe McGill), who has a job concerning a stripper, Cory (Halle Berry), being followed. Before Hallenbeck can actually take the case, he finds Mike in bed with his wife, Sarah (Chelsea Field). Caught in bed with his friend’s wife, Mike gets into his car to leave in disgrace, but he doesn’t get far as his car blows up, killing him. That evening, Hallenbeck gets to work on Cory’s case, checking out the go-go joint that she works in. It doesn’t take long for the hard luck private eye to draw the ire of Cory’s boyfriend Jimmy Dix (Damon Wayans), a once-great football player that was expelled from the league. Things take a turn for the worse as Cory is murdered in the streets, Dix and Hallenbeck arriving too late to save her. The two team up to get to the bottom the case that left a young woman dead in the streets of Los Angeles. The evidence points to a conspiracy involving professional football owners and members of the United States Senate.

The film opens with a shocking and memorable sequence. After the opening credits roll to a Hank Williams, Jr.-esque Monday Night Football theme, the film takes us to that evening’s game. Scott uses buckets of rain from the sky and blue filters to give the setting a highly stylized look, one that is imitated in a Key & Peele football sketch this year. Then a running back takes the ball on the next play. After a couple of evasive moves, the running back pulls a handgun and begins shooting his opposition. He then remove his helmet, says, “Ain’t life a bitch?” right before blowing his brains out. It’s really one of the great opening sequences of ‘90s action flicks.

With Lethal Weapon, Black ushered in the era of the modern cop buddy movie. Here he does something similar, except the two aren’t cops, they’re fallen heroes. Willis plays what is probably his signature character archetype: A world weary every man down on his luck; he doesn’t want to be the hero, but will become heroic if no one else takes the job. As Willis’ partner, Damon Wayans plays it straight, his humor relegated to snappy comebacks. This role is the first in the brief window where Damon Wayans was almost a leading man. An era that came to an unceremonious close when Wayans teamed with Adam Sandler in Bulletproof.


The climax of The Last Boy Scout revolves around a pro football team owner attempting to assassinate a senator and usher in an era of legalized sports gambling. Today this notion seems dated. First of all, this movie takes place in the long forgotten time when Los Angeles had a professional football team. Secondly, if a rich team owner wanted to purchase a politician, he could make a donation of any amount to a PAC. Finally, gambling has become more and more prevalent in our society. The fact that world has changed dramatically since the film’s release doesn’t negate the film’s impact. As a matter of fact, it shows that there has always been something dark and corrupt in the heart of sports ownership. Covering up domestic violence charges and ignoring scientific data as to the effects of concussions is just another in a long line of offenses. The corrupt nature of NFL ownership hasn’t changed.

I wouldn’t go as far to call The Last Boy Scout a great action movie, but it does have some great moments. It’s really just the type of film that they don’t really make anymore. As much as Scott stylizes the screen, Black stylizes the script with a kind of caustic moralism. It’s the kind of movie where a senator is saved from assassination and the good guy knees him in the balls before punching him in the face. It takes place in a world where all the good guys are flawed and have a blood alcohol content well over the legal limit. It’s not pretty. It’s not perfect. But, damn, it’s entertaining.

Shop Deadpool tees in our officially licensed Marvel store!

Leave a Reply

Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
The Trip to Spain
Now on Blu-ray: Another Delicious and Delightful Journey with ‘The Trip to Spain’

Who could’ve guessed in 2010 that an improvisational comedy with Steve...

With ‘Wormwood’ Errol Morris Once Again Redefines Documentary Filmmaking

What is truth? Is there such a thing when dealing with...

Last Jedi Press Conference
How Does ‘The Last Jedi’ Differ From ‘The Force Awakens? Rian Johnson and the Cast Explain

A little over a week ago, at an undisclosed location in...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
Laser League
These Lasers Cut Straight to the Chase – Laser League Impressions

Don’t blink for a second or you’ll be destroyed by a...

A Way Out
A Way Out is a Game That Truly Understands Co-Op Gaming

EA and Hazelight announce a Friends Pass Free Trial for co-op...

Jupiter and Mars
[PSX] Explore the Technicolor Apocalypse with Jupiter and Mars

I know it’s wrong, but Jupiter and Mars kind of makes me...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
‘The 49th Key’ is a Familiar Story Told with Soul

Title: The 49th Key Written by: Erika Lewis Art by: J.K....

Tick Tock, Tick Tock, the ‘Doomsday Clock’ is about to Strike!

Title: Doomsday Clock #1 Writer: Geoff Johns Artist: Gary Frank Colorist:...

viz media
Viz Media Digital Manga Update for November

TLDR Viz Media announced its digital manga update for November will...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
Dexcharge Power Bank Review
The Power to Catch Them All – Dexcharge Power Bank Review

GGTR Game Series Power Banks ensure you have the power, and...

Manga Spice Cafe Box Review
A Taste of Summer in Japan – Manga Spice Cafe Box Review

Get a taste of summer in Japan with the specially curated...

Manga Spice Cafe
A Little Taste of Japan in a Box – Manga Spice Cafe

If you’ve ever wondered what Japanese People snack on while they...

Arena Football Automotives MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
AXS TV Closes NJPW’s ‘G1 Climax 27’ With Four Episodes From The Final Weekend Beginning Friday Oct. 13

Los Angeles, CA (Oct. 11, 2017) – “Rainmakers” and “High Fly...

New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Rocky Romero has created an auction to raise money for UNIDOS por Puerto Rico Disaster Relief

I’m The costume was worn by Rocky during the final Roppongi...

Douglas Lima Defends his Bellator Welterweight Title Against Rory MacDonald at the Forum on 1/20

LOS ANGELES – One year removed from its previous event at...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
Samo Says: Star Wars – The Last of My Patience

When I was a child, I loved Star Wars. I had...

batman ninja
Is That Racist? – Batman Ninja Trailer

Nope, this is not a joke. Set to release on DVD...

Cultural Junkdrawer ‘Avengers Infinity War’: Analysis, Conjecture and Outright Lies

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR Analysis Conjecture Outright lies   A nearly second...

Event News Event Reviews
dough bar
The Dough Bar and the Protein Donut

Created by Marquez and Ondrea Fernandez, The Dough Bar Doughnuts are...

Improve Sleep and Performance with TrueDark

TrueDark by Biohacked aims to improve your sleep, performance, and health by...

Pyramid Escape Room Review
Escape Room LA’s The Pyramid Escape Room Review

Overview of The Pyramid Escape Room The Pyramid Escape Room, Escape Room...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Gaming Uncensored: Year in Review 2016

A look back at the year in gaming.

Gaming Uncensored Roundtable: December 2016

December’s roundtable discusses story in games with Chad, Josh, and Spencer....

Gaming Uncensored: Podcast #349

Jamie reflects on some of his time with the HTC Vive....

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Rising Country Music Artist Kaylin Roberson Talks About her work with St. Jude

Kaylin Roberson is a singer, songwriter and pianist from Raleigh, North...

MTV Unveils Performers for ‘TRL Live’ on October 3rd at 3 p.m. E.T.

NEW YORK, NY (September 26, 2017) – MTV today announced that...

Long Beach Punk Band ‘Spider’ Rocks ‘It’s Not Dead’ Festival

Spider is a heavy hitting punk band out of Long Beach,...