Shane Black writes absurdist action flicks. The action is baroque, absurd and over the top. The dialog is pointedly silly. The plot seemingly exists to glue together violent set pieces. To review one of Shane Black's movies like it's a straight action flick is to miss the point entirely.
The script for The Last Boyscout, which sold for something like 3 million bucks, was brilliant, in its way.
I saw this movie in the theaters and the audience was completely hooked from the opening scenes AND laughed at all the jokes. You don't see that often.
Just because something is gonzo doesn't make it stupid. Shane Black gets a bad rap because he got paid a lot of money and he made what he does look easy. It isn't.
Back when Black was a hot scriptwriter, a lot of people tried to copy his style and we ended up with monstrosities like Hudson Hawk.
I like my action movies pretty dumb, but, wow, this one was nearly comatose. It is a window into early 90s action filmmaking (lots of atmospheric lighting, lots of wisecracks). Bruce Willis is at his smirkiest as a washed up p.i. who teams up with a disgraced football player (Damon Wayans: terrible.) to unravel a conspiracy to legalize gambling in pro football. Seriously, that's the plot. Screenwriter Shane Black, who had established a successful formula with "Lethal Weapon," was paid an ungodly amount of money for this and it reeks of cynicism. Tony Scott, of "Top Gun" and "True Romance" fame, directs in a flashy and glib manner. Black's wink wink script tries to make the cliches into a joke, but it just makes it worse. The acting is uniformly awful, the story inane, the action stupid and violent, and every character is a smartass, even Willis's teenage daughter. Yeah, this was really dumb and not in a fun way. Halle Berrry has a small role in one of her first movies (it's a testimony to the movie's treatment of women that she's a stripper). Scott would return to hot sports action with "The Fan," while Black would pen another action movie starting with "L," "The Long Kiss Goodnight." Look for James Gandolfini in a non-speaking role as a thug wearing sunglasses.
Too much foul language but action was good.
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