Review Date: November 21, 2001
Director: Michael Ritchie
Writer: Andrew Bergman, Albert Brooks, Monica Johnson
Producers: Andre E. Morgan, Albert S. Ruddy
I semi-enjoyed this movie for the most part because it put forth an interesting premise. A crappy baseball scout is sent to a little town in Mexico because he sucks, and just happens to fall upon one of the greatest baseball players that he's ever seen. He recruits the young lad, brings him to the Big City, and every single major league baseball team suddenly wants him on their roster. Pretty exciting, right?
Well, for the most part...it's interesting. But as it turns out, this film isn't a comedy, folks...it's a drama. Sure it stars Albert Brooks, one of the funnier men in Hollywood (in my opinion), and Brendan Fraser who can do the cute-innocent-dumb guy schtick better than most others (he plays the same ENCINO MAN-type character here as well), but the film quickly lets you know that it's also about some damn serious stuff.
You see, it's obvious to pretty much every single human being who meets this young prospect in the movie that he's got some psychological problems going on in his head. To be honest...he's seriously deranged. Something happened in his past and he hasn't dealt with it yet. But the problem with this movie is that it basically just DRAGS that concept along during the whole film, and when it finally comes time to address it, it basically just sweeps it under the rug with a simple one-liner here and there, an extremely far-fetched baseball scenario and Albert Brooks' character suddenly pulling an unbelievable 180 during the final five minutes.
Basically, it falls apart! The film could've made some kind of grander point, it could've gone for our heart-strings, it could've finally let us see behind the curtain, etc... but by the time the end of the flick comes around, you realize just how big of an asshole Brooks' character has been the whole movie and you just don't give a shit anymore! (there's only so much that an audience is going to invest in a character with so little real human emotion...other than greed).
They also ram an extremely over-the-top ROCKY-esque score down our throats as Fraser tosses his first game in the majors, as much of the final 10 minutes or so, is almost puke-enducing.
It's too bad too because it seemed like they were taking a pretty different approach with this "baseball" movie, but the ending was just too phony-baloney for my taste, the whole movie just flew by and it almost seemed to be missing parts (was this badly edited or chopped up?). Skip this one and rent THE LAST BOYSCOUT instead...trust me, drown yourself in the drink and have a blast!
Oh yeah, and I almost forgot about the completely obvious and sophomoric KING KONG metaphor that they kept stuffing down our throats the whole movie...alright guys, we get it...he's like KING KONG...every heard of being "subtle"?