The Legend Of Bagger Vance

Review Date:
Director: Robert Redford
Writer: Jeremy Leven
Producers: Robert Redford, Michael Nozik, Jake Eberts
Matt Damon as Rannulph Junuh, Will Smith as Bagger Vance, Charlize Theron as Adele Invergordon
A guy who used to be a great golfer goes to war and loses his touch. He returns in shame, abandons the girl he loved dearly and drinks himself silly until a local golf tournament needs him to raise the spirits of the townspeople. At that point, a figure by the name of Bagger Vance helps the man regain some of his old self-confidence, take a shot at the tournament and his old glory.
This movie wasn’t bad but I honestly expected a deeper meaning behind it all, a bigger inspiration to go out and do something great in my own life, or in the very least, a little magic. Unfortunately, none of that came through in this movie, a film which looked great and felt good, but ultimately didn’t say much to me. The acting was solid across the board, but nobody really stood out. The message of the movie was nice, but nothing to change your perspective as such. The costumes were beautiful, the décor authentic and even the golf courses majestic, all perfect accoutrements for the events unfolding around them, but for me, most of the story seemed pretty predictable from the start and nothing particularly fantastical or surprising took me aback during the entire picture. Perhaps the film will mean more to golf fans. I don’t know. Perhaps there is a much greater, deeper inspirational thought or message that I didn’t pick up on. Not sure.

All’s I know is that unlike the viewing of an actual game of golf, this film did not bore me out my skull, and did manage to sustain my attention for its entire two-hour run, so all in all, not bad. I didn’t particularly care for Will Smith’s character, who I thought was a little too “nagging” and “glib” to be of any inspiration to anyone, but he eventually managed to lighten up, so no major harm done there. One thing that didn’t grow on me was this one particular continuity issue which just bothered me throughout. If Matt Damon’s character was supposed to have been this great golfer back in the day, why is it that when he returns to the game all those years later, he is still decades younger than the top golfers of that time? The fact that Damon’s character was this aged golfer who didn’t look a day over 25 just struck me as very odd and somewhat distracting. Or was that just me? Anyway, other than that, the film was okay but nothing to go out of your way to see on the big screen. Catch it on video and see Theron perfect the art of crying in cinema, Smith finally show a little range as a dramatic character and Damon, well, he’s a good actor but a little too typecast for my taste. A great looking picture with great looking people, a sad-sack romance, some dopey lines and a so-so plot line. Interest you any?

(c) 2021 Berge Garabedian