WILL comedian Anthony Michael Hall become the Clint Eastwood of the MTV Generation? Judging from his action debut in "Out of Bounds," probably not. He's lean enough, but not mean enough as the hero of this generic adventure which pits a farm-fresh Iowa boy against a city-slick drug dealer, the local authorities and corrupt enforcers for the DEA.
Hall, known for his work in "Sixteen Candles" and "The Breakfast Club," squanders his strengths -- his geniality and wacky physicality -- on this trifling young adult drama, a dully paced and unimaginative escapade set in overexposed L.A.
Hoping to dress up the spare script while attracting the teens, director Richard ("Tightrope") Tuggle shoots garish footage at such splashy spots as Venice Beach and the Stardust Ballroom. Even the set decoration tests credulity. The heroine, a struggling actress, dwells in jazzy digs full of fabulous Memphis furniture -- all of it bought, no doubt, on her tips as a waitress at Barney's Beanery.
Jenny Wright of "St. Elmo's Fire" contrasts nicely with her costar as the heroine, a ditzy new wave doll who meets Hall on the flight from Iowa to L.A. and later plays good samaritan when he finds himself down and out and definitely not in Beverly Hills. Love flourishes along with the chase scenes.
It all begins shortly after their plane lands at LAX, where Hall takes the wrong red gym bag from the luggage carousel -- a bag containing a million dollars worth of heroin. Within 12 hours, Hall is on the run from the police who want him for two murders he didn't commit and from the dealer who will stop at nothing, especially mayhem, to get at that smack.
Tony Kayden, a television veteran, writes the mundane screenplay, set to the music of Siouxsie and the Banshees and Tommy Keene and his band in on-screen videos. All that snazz just makes the rest of the scenes look all the staler.
OUT OF BOUNDS (R) -- At area theaters.