The Trouble With Clint
TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE review
Published: Friday, September 21, 2012
Updated: Friday, September 21, 2012 02:09
It’s starting to become a harsh reality that the world no longer takes Clint Eastwood seriously. Even when you don’t consider his little impromptu speech at the Republican National Convention, it’s still obvious that he’s losing his grasp on cinema lovers – proven through his newest (yet botched) acting job in “TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE.”
Here, Eastwood teams up with director Robert Lorenz and stars Amy Adams and Justin Timberlake to make a movie that is literally the anti-“MONEYBALL.” Eastwood plays Gus, a scout for the Atlanta Braves that is quickly losing his legendary vision and consequently his ability to be a good scout. He’s an estranged loner whose wife died and whose daughter he rarely ever talks to because he severely neglected her during her upbringing. Sure enough, he’s also losing grasp on one of the few things in his life that was always a constant for him – his job.
Among the many reasons that Lorenz’s film was so different than Miller’s from last year is the most obvious fact that while “MONEYBALL” embraces modern statistical analysis, “TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE” doesn’t at all. Computer-using statisticians are the antagonists that are driving Gus out of his job because Gus refuses to use a computer – he insists it’s much easier for him to seep through newspapers day-by-day to compile and analyze statistics – playing the stereotypical stern old man he has ultimately become.
I can truly see why Clint was attracted to this role, but he should have come to his senses and just flat out said no to this sappy trash. He gave us the perfect reason to believe he was never going to act again after the ending of “GRAN TORINO” (which he wrote, directed, and starred in) in 2008. That was the perfect way to end solid badass and American legend Clint Eastwood’s career! But, as stated before, he’s senile now – he wants to prove that his career is still very much alive, hence why he made this inevitably flat and unexciting movie.
Of course, there’s the extra love story thrown in there between Gus’ daughter Mickey (played by Adams - and, yes, she was named after Mickey Mantle) and Gus’ competitor, a Red Sox scout named Johnny (Timberlake) that drags “TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE” on much longer than it needs to be. Even more, there’s the storyline of the young, upcoming high school stud named Bo Gentry who looks like a fat, demented and out of shape version of Curt Schilling and is supposed to be the “next big thing,” “a five-tool player,” and a potential number one pick in the draft.
It seems like writer Randy Brown tried to expand each character’s background in order to make the film more interesting, but the story told couldn’t be any more uninteresting. He needed to give us the full, dragged out prologue to explain to us the story of the father that wasn’t there for the daughter and the daughter who learned from her father’s mistakes and subsequently was there for her father when he was down and out.
Everything about this story screams cliché; really, the only saving grace of “TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE” is a small portion of its cast. Normally spunky Justin Timberlake doesn’t offer nearly as many snicker-inducing moments as his role in, say, “THE SOCIAL NETWORK” – but there is something about the former ‘N-Sync star’s presence that just brings a smile to everyone’s face whenever he vaguely acts like a smart-ass. Amy Adams is decent enough playing a pretty hot and super smart chick and, as we’ve come to expect, John Goodman just adapts to the environment he’s in to the best of his ability and rolls with it.
However, watching Clint grunt, grimace, fall over and disobey logical reasoning gets old quick. It’s hard to think of a hero like The Man With No Name and “Dirty” Harry Callahan becoming a useless big screen joke – but I suppose it happens to everyone at some point. His acting has truly become so mild that it’s borderline bland. “TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE” ends up striking out looking for memorable substance, and will probably in the future be referenced as one of the worst movies Clint Eastwood has ever acted in.