BOY SCOUT, THE (director: Tony
Scott; screenwriters: story by Shane Black/
& Greg Hicks; cinematographer: Ward Russell;
Goldblatt/Mark Helfrich; music: Michael Kamen;
cast: Bruce Willis (Joe
Hallenbeck), Damon Wayans (Jimmy Dix), Chelsea Field (Sarah Hallenbeck),
Noble Willingham (Sheldon Marcone), Taylor Negron (Milo),
Halie Berry (Cory),
Danielle Harris (Darian Hallenbeck),
Bruce McGill (Mike
Matthews), Chelcie Ross (Senator Baynard),
Joe Santos (Lt. Bessalo);
Runtime: 105; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Joel Silver/Michael Levy;
Warner Home Video; 1991)
"Everything seems mechanical, forced and contrived."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Tony Scott ("Man on Fire"/"Domino"/"Crimson Tide") directs this revolting formulaic Bruce Willis interracial-buddy action comedy, where everything seems mechanical, forced and contrived. It's based on a story by Shane Black & Greg Hicks, and is written by Shane Black. Every character is one-dimensional and a stereotype, the revolting story doesn't even have a heart beat, the good-guy odd couple buddy partnership seems artificial, the dialogue is idiotic, the action scenes are phony and allow for unintentional laughter, the acting is bad and the direction is violently bad. This is one lousy film.
The disheveled and unhinged
Joe Hallenbeck (Bruce Willis) was bounced as a Secret
Service agent, despite once being honored for saving
the President's life, by California's crooked Senator
Baynard (Chelcie Ross). Joe's now a washed-up alcoholic
LA private eye, whose disrespectful foul-mouth
talking 13-year-old daughter Darian (Danielle Harris)
calls him a loser and his estranged wife Sarah
(Chelsea Field) is having an affair with his sleazy
Matthews (Bruce McGill) because he's never around.
After Mike hands over to Joe a dangerous case, the
scheming double-crosser Mike is killed in a car bomb.
Joe nevertheless pursues the job of guarding stripper
Cory (Halie Berry), who despite his
protection is gunned down in the street in a contract hit. To get
the baddies Joe teams up with Cory's boyfriend, the
wise-cracking former pro quarterback Jimmy Dix (Damon Wayans), who fell apart when his
wife died in a traffic accident a few years ago and
has found solace in Cory. Jimmy was banned from
playing in the NFL because of gambling and a drug
addiction to Demerol.
We learn Cory was killed because she
tried to get her Jimmy reinstated to the NFL and had a
tape recording of the ruthless porcine Los Angeles Stallions football
owner Sheldon Marcone (Noble Willingham) bribing the smarmy
Senator Baynard to push for legislation to make gambling
on football games legal and is using this tape to bribe
Sheldon. On the tape the powerful senator rejects the
billionaire's offer, as he asks for a bigger bribe. When
the odd-couple investigate Cory's murder they meet with
violence from Sheldon's goons, as there's more murders
and a climax that was so chaotic and absurd that it
could have only been saved if one thought they were
watching a Marx Brothers flick.
The film is supposedly a homage to
Raymond Chandler, that fictional tough-guy detective
created by Dashiell Hammet. The big problem is that
Hammet was good at cranking out pulp novels and Shane
Black (wrote Lethal Weapon) is not. It also doesn't
help that the mediocre director is clueless on how to
execute an old-fashioned thriller.
REVIEWED ON 1/17/2012 GRADE: C-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ