The Last Boy Scout hit Region Free UK Blu-ray a while back with what appears to be the same largely impressive High Definition upgrade it got in the US as part of a double-feature alongside Willis’s Last Man Standing. Presented in its original theatrical 2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratio, whilst it’s not quite reference material, it is an excellent step up from what was an unquestionably shoddy DVD predecessor. Detail is noticeably increased, with strong clarity that only dips into softness occasionally, and largely showcases good fine object detail, facial observation and nuanced longer shots. DNR application is largely limited, and most of the original grain level appears to be intact, with no signs of overt edge enhancement or of any other digital defects which might have otherwise affected your enjoyment of the feature. The colour scheme is well represented, with some bright and vibrant tones inherent to any Tony Scott feature, and reasonably strong black levels which only marginally suffer from crush at the extremes. Overall it’s an impressive upgrade which deserves high marks notwithstanding its issues and which should please anybody who has had to struggle on with DVD release for far too long.
The accompanying DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is also pretty decent – perhaps not as sizeable an upgrade in audio terms as the video was over the old DVD, but a worthy upgrade nonetheless. Dialogue comes across clearly and coherently, largely dominating the frontal array. Effects are myriad, but don’t get quite as much surround coverage as you might have wished for, with the rears seldom getting the workout you might have expected from even the most atmospherically-primed sequences. Still, helicopter blades suitably whip through the surroundings, slicing through the air (and bodies) penetratingly; gunshots echo and boom, and shredders do exactly what is written on the box, tearing through an entire room-full of henchmen. There’s some nice directionality during the car chases and the LFE channel can definitely be heard providing potency to the frequent explosions and, whilst it’s not quite as impressive as the video, it certainly does a decent job presenting the material better than ever before.
“If you go any faster we’re gonna’ travel back through time.”
Tense, fast-paced, snappy, unremittingly violent, action-packed and driven by a superb, word-perfect script that will have you smiling, laughing and quoting throughout, The Last Boy Scout is one of those severely underrated gems from the early nineties, made before the classic-action-hero bubble burst, its standout script lost in the mire of subsequent inferior imitators. If you enjoyed Die Hard, Bad Boys and the early Lethal Weapons but haven’t ever given The Last Boy Scout a shot then I strongly recommend rectifying that oversight.
On Region Free UK Blu-ray we get a considerable upgrade in video quality, and a decent enough aural accompaniment. The lack of extras may well disappoint, but that shouldn’t put you off from picking up what is a must-have title by anybody’s standard.
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