Trouble with the Curve
Clint lied to us. He swore blind that Gran Torino was his last effort in front of camera but here he is, larger than life. Robert Lorenz, making his directorial debut here, has produced all of Eastwood's movies since Blood Work so Clint is either doing a mate a favour or he knows which side his bread is buttered. Either way, a growly Clint can't save this story-by-numbers drama.
Baseball movies have an air of magic about them: Even the office-set stats-heavy Moneyball worked. Stats play a major part here too, but Clint's ageing baseball agent reckons computers can't tell you everything, which is why he's in the sticks checking out an upcoming star instead of being stuck in front of a laptop. Clint needs to make a signing sharpish or he's out on his ear and, because his sight is fading fast, estranged daughter Adams offers to be his eyes. However, she's worried about losing her top lawyer job and being squired by Timberlake's charmer.
Clint can do this 'chomp cigars and growl' role in his sleep and while it's nice to see him play anything he's working with, an under par script here that lays it on too thick - Clint says 'interweb' and 'fung shmee' because he's old - and signposts plot developments. Will the big shot get his comeuppance for humiliating the Mexican boy? Will the Mexican boy's talent get noticed? Will Amy and Justin have a midnight dip? Yes, yip and you betcha. Lorenz cares not about bullying the audience into feeling something with scenes of artificial drama like Clint crying (and singing) at his late wife's grave.
It's biggest sin is that for a baseball movie Trouble With The Curve lacks that certain magic, as the drama takes place off the field. That drama concerns itself with mending daddy-daughter relations and making sure that Adams loses the stifling work suit and dons some fun jeans. However, I was rooting for Adams to make partner because she has put in the hours and deserves the gig. All the while the movie is shaking its head at her.
It's nice to have Clint being Clint but this is too safe and ordinary to keep one's attention.
Review by Gavin Burke | 11:08 | Friday 23rd November 2012 | Movie Review