Reviewed by: Brett Willis
|Featuring:||Bernie Mac, Angela Bassett, Evan Jones, Amaury Nolasco, Christopher Noth|
|Director:||Charles Stone III|
“Back in the game. Out of his league.”
Many of us have had our fill of real-life “Me First” sports stars. Well, now we have a fictitious one.
In this unusual twist of a sports movie, Bernie Mac plays Stan Ross, an arrogant and much-hated superstar who abruptly retired from the Milwaukee Brewers in 1995, leaving them in the lurch in the middle of a pennant race. The reason? He’d just gotten his 3000th hit, so he felt his spot in the Hall of Fame was assured. And, well, it’s all about taking care of Number One.
Now, nine years later, Ross has set up a string of businesses named “3000 this,” “3000 that.” And he’s edging ever closer to the Hall of Fame in each year’s balloting. But the Brewer statisticians, reviewing his lifetime record, realize that in one game that was suspended and then completed on another day, several of the game stats including Ross’ three hits were logged twice. He really has only 2997 hits. So everything is at stake here. His shot at Cooperstown, his “Mr. 3000” moniker, even the names of his business enterprises. No choice but to come back to the game, at age 47.
Even if he’s woefully out of shape, the Brewer front office doesn’t mind. They’re in the division cellar anyhow. At the least, it’s a publicity stunt that will put fans in the seats. They’ll bring Ross on board, and play him for the rest of the season.
But Ross has many adversaries. The fans, players and coaches that he mistreated. And the sportscasters he constantly fought with. One of those reporters, “Mo” (Angela Bassett), is also the girl that he could never commit to. Will he succeed in his unlikely quest? And will he end up the same jerk he was before, or will he learn something this time around?
Violence and fighting are not a major issue. There’s a small amount of normal ballgame trash talk, brushback pitches, challenging umpires’ calls.
Language is excessive. No f-words, but pretty much a constant streak of cursing, sexual slang, insults, innuendo. Even a running joke about a Japanese pitcher whose teammates have to coach to swear correctly.
Sexual content is enough to be annoying, and more. I wouldn’t want any 13-year-old to see this. It’s the usual Hollywood “no big deal” treatment. The old and now rekindled relationship between Ross and Mo was basically nothing but casual sex, and seems to be so again. On one occasion, they’re shown in the aftermath of clearly implied sex, with a comic-intent sequence showing Ross’ bare backside wrapped in a bedsheet that only reaches up to several inches below his waist.
This IS a Disney film. So in case you haven’t guessed, I can assure you that the outcome is going to have a positive twist and a moral message. Question is, is it worth the trip there? Possibly not. What a strange culture we’ve become when family-oriented, stand-up-and-cheer movies are made as strong PG-13s that you might not want to take the family to.
Violence: Minor Profanity: Heavy Sex/Nudity: Moderate