I love a good action film, better yet if it is put in the medium of book. The best way to describe Scarecrow therefore would be to imagine the action set pieces of the Lethal Weapon films, the explosions of a Die Hard film, the car chases of Jame Bond and the body count of Total Recall. Combine all those together and you get the idea about the relentless and raucous show in store.
The plot, if you hadn’t already suspected is ludicrous in the extreme and pretty hilarious as well. Shane Schofield AKA Scarecrow is one of the worlds 15 best warriors and they have been targeted by bounty hunters, with a price tag of $20 million dollars on each of their heads. So it’s upto Schofield and his team to first of all survive and then find out why they have been targeted and by whom.
Happily the plot doesn’t get in the way of the action, it largely takes place of one or two pages at a time as the characters fly to a whole plethora of international locations that are just waiting to be shot and blown up. The whackiness of the plot fits right in with the over the top action, if you are looking for something with realistic aspects then you’ll be disappointed. Happily for the rest of we are in for a jaunt that makes The Expendables look pedestrian.
Segueing nicely into the world of cinema, If I reviewing a film for a cheap tabloid newspaper then I would use all the usual empty platitudes such as breathless, relentless , ridiculous fun, edge of the seat stuff, best action film of the year etc etc. In this case though they are all exactly spot on for this book. A non step adrenaline thrill ride indeed.
Scarecrow works because it doesn’t take itself to seriously, Reilly has also written it in a way that fits stylistically with the nature of the book. Charles Dickens he ain’t, but that adds to the over all feeling of cheesiness. It’s something to be devoured within hours rather than days but can be savoured for months afterwards. I always bring this book up in conversation at least once a month because it’s just brilliant and I love it for its sublime B-movie awfulness.