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Trouble with the Curve


Stars: Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, Justin Timberlake, John Goodman, Matthew Lillard, Ed Lauter, George Wyner, Bob Gunton, Robert Patrick, Chelcie Ross, Joe Massingill, Jay Galloway

Director: Robert Lorenz

If you looked up 'predictable' in a dictionary, it could well be illustrated by a poster for this film, starring Eastwood as a weatherbeaten baseball scout, and directed by Eastwood's long-time producing partner Lorenz. In fact, what I wrote down in the first five minutes duly comes to pass in the last five: it's that - er - predictable.

Eastwood, looking all of his 82 years in this role, plays Gus, who's still, despite failing eyesight, chief talent scout for a major league baseball team. His old friend and boss, Pete (Goodman) worries about him, while Lillard's computer-bound scouting associate - good to see this sharkish actor as a smart-Alec villain again - just wants the old guy out.

Meantime, Gus hardly communicates with his feisty, 30something daughter Mickey (Adams) - named after a famous baseball star - who, despite an encyclopedic knowledge of the game - has become a high-flying lawyer to please her unresponsive father.

That is, until Pete talks her into accompanying Gus on a season-end scouting trip to North Carolina where, with great difficulty, she re-connects with the old man - and meets ex-baseball star turned scout Johnny (Timberlake), all of them there to assess Bo Gentry (Massingill), a pumped-up peacock of a big hitter in the minor leagues who, like Lillard, is obviously due for his come-uppance before the end.

The actors, Adams especially, do noble work sustaining lots of rather dull conversation pieces, and the ending, though expected, works pretty well. Photography, like the film, is a little flat.

David Quinlan

USA 2012. UK Distributor: Warner Brothers. Technicolor.
105 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 25 Nov 2012