One of the first scenes in The Scout finds cynical scout Al Percolo (Albert Brooks) trying to convince a family that their son should come play for the New York Yankees instead of going to college. His explanation of how Lou Gehrig became ill is priceless. Albert Brooks nails the mixture of hard and soft sell one can imagine would be used to force young athletes and their parents to sign on the dotted line. Brendan Fraser is fine as the enthusiastic, emotionally disturbed pitcher; he has the build of a major league hurler. Although the film starts strong, The Scout finds nowhere interesting to go. The set-up could have made for a remarkably dark comedy, but the film backpedals on its subject, playing Nebraska's mental problems for warm-hearted bittersweet laughs instead of attempting to deal with them realistically. When Al changes from a cynic to a man who sacrifices himself for Nebraska, Brooks himself doesn't look like he believes his character. This film fails to soften Brooks's persona for public consumption; it simply neuters his acerbic sensibilities.
by Perry Seibert review