Jack Slater is the hero of the fictional Jack Slater film series (portrayed in the 1993 film Last Action Hero) by self-aware action star Arnold Schwarzenegger (who also appears as a fictional on-screen version of himself in the film making this a duel role).
The story begins on an adventure when a boy named Daniel "Danny" Madigan is magically transported into the surreal world of an action film featuring his fictional hero, Slater. Since his father died, Danny has been skipping school to watch movies with his friend Nick, an old man who operates the run-down Pandora movie theater in New York City.
Nick invites Danny to a private screening of Jack Slater IV and gives him a magic ticket originally given to Nick by Harry Houdini. Before the show, Nick tears the ticket in half, gives one half to Danny, and puts the other in the ticket box. A few minutes into Slater IV, while Slater is being chased in his convertible by a group of submachine gun toting men in a pickup truck, Danny's ticket stub begins to glow and some dynamite from within the film flies out of the screen, lands near Danny and explodes.
When Danny wakes up, he is in the back seat of Slater's car, being chased through Los Angeles in the world of Slater IV. After losing the bad guys, Danny tries to convince Slater that they are in a film, but Slater sees nothing unusual about his world which includes a cartoon cat detective named Whiskers, a black-and-white image of Humphrey Bogart, female officers dressed in outlandish battle armor, even various characters from other films (at one point, the T-1000 (Robert Patrick from his role in Terminator 2: Judgement Day) and Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone from Basic Instinct) are seen outside the police station).
As Slater and Danny drive along the coast looking for the "bad guys", Danny recognizes, from the scene that came between the title card and Slater's first on-screen appearance, the mansion belonging to crime boss Tony Vivaldi.
After overhearing Danny discussing his role in the Slater film, Benedict follows Slater and Danny as they visit Slater's daughter, Whitney, raids the house with some thugs, takes the magic ticket from Danny and escapes after a gun battle with Slater and Whitney.
While inspecting the ticket at the mansion, he discovers a portal to the real world. Eventually, Slater and Danny figure out that Vivaldi plans to kill his rivals at a rooftop funeral by planting nerve gas in the body.
After a brief scene in which Whiskers saves Slater and Danny from betrayal by Slater's friend John Practice, Slater tells Danny to commandeer a construction crane, takes the body and escapes from the funeral, and disposes of the body into a tar pit with Danny's help at the crane.
Whitney arrives in her truck immediately afterward, and Slater and Danny use the truck to crash into the villains' mansion shortly after Benedict irritably betrays and shoots Vivaldi.
In the ensuing struggle, Benedict and his butler fall through a portal into the real world, and Slater and Danny follow them.
In the real New York City, Slater is disappointed to learn that he is a fictional character and resentful at having been given such a hard life by his film's writers, particularly Schwarzenegger himself.
While talking with Danny's mother, he learns to be sensitive and loses interest in violent action.
Meanwhile, Benedict learns that in this world he can get away with murder and hatches a plan to wipe out Slater by killing Schwarzenegger.
Slater correctly guesses Benedict's plan after Benedict uses the ticket to escape a car chase, leaving behind a newspaper with hand-drawn marks on some film advertisements.
At the premiere of Jack Slater IV, after a brief encounter with Schwarzenegger (himself), Slater confronts the Ripper (Noonan), the ax-wielding villain who killed Slater's young son in Jack Slater III and whom Benedict has brought to the real world.
In a rooftop scene similar to the finale of Slater III, the Ripper throws Danny from the roof before being electrocuted by Slater.
Slater finds Danny clinging to the side of the building and pulls him to safety, but Benedict confronts Slater and shoots him in the chest while ranting about his plans to form an army of film villains (such as Dracula, Freddy Krueger, Hannibal Lecter and King Kong) and take over the world.
Danny knocks Benedict to the floor, enabling Slater to get Benedict's gun and shoot Benedict directly in his explosive glass eye, blowing his head to smithereens, but the ticket flutters off the roof and lands in front of a movie theater showing The Seventh Seal.
Death walks through the resulting portal and follows Slater and Danny to Nick's theater where Danny hopes to save Slater by transporting him back into the Slater film.
Death advises Danny to find the other half of the magic ticket, which he does, and Slater and Danny are transported into Slater IV, where Slater's wounds are minor. On Slater's insistence, Danny returns to the real world.
The film ends as Slater explains his new insights to Dekker, then drives into the sunset.
Background information and notesEdit
- The film and character both often reference the whole Die Hard scenario due to it being helmed by director John McTiernan, who helmed the first and third films in the series. The film also makes fun of the invincible Hollywoodized hero in general and even begins with a Die Hard-esque opening where Slater must defuse a hostage situation.