Albert Brooks plays THE SCOUT, down on his luck with a string of failures, and Brendan Fraser plays the wonder-kid whose talent promises to rescue Brooks' career in this quirky buddy film set against the backdrop of Major League Baseball. With a small amount of offensive language, THE SCOUT still may not be suitable for youngsters, but the humor shows the sophistication typical of so many of Brooks' previous films and is a refreshing change from broad, slapstick entertainment.
Albert Brooks plays Al Percolo, THE SCOUT, who is down on his luck with a string of failures threatening his reputation and livelihood. When the New York Yankees send him on a grudge trip to Mexico, he stumbles across Steve Nebraska, a local legend because of his killer fastball as well as his skill at bat. When the Yankees fire Al, he takes on Steve’s management as a free agent. The Yankees acquire Steve after all and, given Al’s track record, want to protect their multi-million dollar investment with a letter proclaiming him mentally fit. It is clear that Steve is anything but stable and given to bizarre, but innocent, acts of improprieties. Is his emotional instability the secret of his success? Will he be able to make it to the pitcher’s mound in the World Series?
Any fan of Albert Brooks will not be disappointed by his performance in THE SCOUT. As a matter of fact, the majority of the humor in this comedy is based on character, not sight-gags or stupid jokes, giving the whole piece a sophistication typical of many of Brooks’ other films. In playing Steve Nebraska, Brendan Fraser opts to make his human parallel to King Kong more innocent than threatening. A relatively small amount of foul language makes THE SCOUT unsuitable for younger ears, and a brief humorous treatment of Catholicism is more a comment on Al’s character than a reflection of the Catholic faith.
(NA, LL, S, A, M, C) Contemporary relativism; 11 obscenities, 4 exclamatory profanities & 4 vulgarities; abstract references to fornication; social drinking; cigar smoking, subtle depiction of man vomiting, & character's Catholic faith used as subject of mild (not irreverent) humor; and, fleeting references to existence of God.