Last Action Hero

Work Title: Last Action Hero
Medium: Film
Episode Title:
Year: 1993
Writer(s): Shane Black
"Original" Writer: Yes Writer(s): David Arnott
"Original" Writer: Yes Own work?: No


Young Danny Madigan is a big fan of Jack Slater, a larger-than-life action hero played by Arnold Schwarzenegger. When his best friend, Nick the projectionist, gives him a magic ticket to the new Jack Slater film, Danny is transported into Slater's world, where the good guys always win. One of Slater's enemies, Benedict the hitman, gets hold of the ticket and ends up in Danny's world, where he realises that if he can kill Schwarzenegger, Slater will be no more. Slater and Danny must travel back and stop him.

Era/Year of Portrayal: present_day

Distinctive characteristics of the world in portrayal:

The film takes place in the year 1993.


  • Name of portrayed presence-evoking technology: magic ticket causes boy to be in a movie he was watching.
  • Description of the technology: The boy, Danny, has a magic ticket given to him by an elderly friend. Supposedly, the ticket originally belonged to Houdini. Ripping the ticket in half allows a portal between the fictional world of the movies and the real world. Thus, Danny enters the fictional world of an action movie, and fictional charcters leave the screen and join the real world. The fictional world of the movies is exactly what an avid movie goer would expect - beautiful women, absurd plot twists, the abilty for the hero to never be injured. The Last Action Hero spoofs action movies by pointing out how unrealistic they are and comparing fiction to the real world. The real world is depicted as crime ridden New York City of 1993 - it is grim, dark, dirty, and rainy.
  • Nature of task or activity: When Danny is in the fictional movie world, he is an active participant in the plot of the action movie - he is Arnold Schwarznegger's sidekick.
  • Performance of the Technology: The technology functions well, until of course a bad guy gets hold of the ticket. So, instead of just Danny entering the fictional world, bad guys from many movies wind up in the real New York City of 1993.
  • Description of creator(s): The ticket originally was Harry Houdini's, the gerat magician. Danny was given the ticket by his friend, a nice old man, white and maybe 65 to 70 years old. The man is a movie theatre projectionist, about to be put out of business bc the theatre
  • Major goal(s) of creator(s): I guess Houdini created the ticket to entertain the boy (the old man projectionist) he gave it to. To first person enjoy the "magic of the movies".
  • Description of users of technology: Danny is an approximately 12 year old boy, obsessed with action movies. He is lonely, has no friends, and his father passed away. He lives with his mom who works all the time, leaving Danny home alone to get picked on by other kids. The other people who experience presence are the fictional (bad) characters who leave the movies - and Jack Slater, the hero of the action movies, whom Danny worships. Slater is Arnold Schwarzenegger.
  • Type(s) of presence experience in the portrayal: spatial_presence
  • Description of presence experience: The preence experience is akin to being in the real world, except thtat things occur in the movie world that wouldn't in the real world. For instance, if the hero is shot in the fictional world, he doesn't die, whereas he would in the real world.
  • User awareness of technology during experience: The people in the movies are unaware they are in a movie -it is reality to them. That is, until Danny joins them and he convinces Jack that he is a fictional character.
  • Valence of experience: Danny loved being "in the movie."
  • Specific responses: In the movie, Danny could do things in real life he probably would nt be able to do, i.e. operate a crane.
Long-term consequences:

The story ends happily - everyone ends up in the correct realm, with Jack having knowledge that he is fictional, but being happy with the knowledge. The consequences of the presence experience were good.


Coder name: Amanda Scheiner
Coder email:
Coder affiliation: Temple Unversity