Here we are at door 9 of the James Proclaims Advent Calendar Of Christmas(ish) films, and it’s about time Bruce Willis popped up.
Yes it’s no other than the most Christmas(ish) of all the action films….
…The Last Boy Scout
Sorry, were you expecting something else?
Is there a more Christmas(ish) Bruce Willis flick than The Last Boy Scout?
Well, possibly. And maybe that one (and perhaps its sequel) could yet appear in this unrivalled compendium of merry movies.
But The Last Boy Scout is a great film in its own right.
Well it’s a good film.
Ok it’s really quite bad.
But it was written by Shane Black who, lest we forget, is responsible for whole heap of actually quite good Christmas(ish) films previously featured in this feature.
So we can forgive him one bad one.
Especially as, if rumours are to be believed, his original script was supposedly quite good and was subsequently ruined by numerous studio-enforced rewrites.
If I’m honest, I do still quite enjoy The Last Boy Scout.
None of it makes even the tiniest bit of sense. The dialogue is clearly meant to be full of witty sarcasm but is instead often stilted and generally out of context with the narrative. Quite a lot of people die for what seems like no good reason.
A central plot point is the potential legalisation of ‘sports gambling’.
Which is not the most exciting premise for a film.
It’s certainly not a great reason to go around shooting people.
Is ‘sports gambling’ even illegal?
If so, then my annual punt on The Grand National is now starting to worry me.
Nonetheless, the film moves along quite quickly, and if you’ve had a bit too much ‘festive cheer’, the incoherent plot probably won’t bother you too much. It might even make more sense if you watch it when a little inebriated.
Score for Christmasishness
There’s a reference to the fact that the holiday season is imminent when Willis’ character, Joe Hallenbeck, comes across a drawing his daughter has recently produced of a demonic figure wearing a Santa Claus costume and holding a decapitated head. The title of the drawing is ‘Satan Claus’.
And that’s it.
Other than a callback to Satan Claus at the end of the film, there are literally no other references to Christmas.
This film has no business being in a list of Christmas films.
Yet, a cursory internet search reveals that it often is in such lists. Probably because of the Shane Black connection.
But really, there is no good reason to watch this film at Christmas.
Then again, there is no good reason to watch this film at all.