Trouble With the Curve (12A)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner30/11/2012

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 111 mins

Despite strong performances from both Eastwood and Adams, this is a crushingly predictable, by-the-numbers drama that never really connects.

What's it all about?
Directed by Robert Lorenz (Eastwood's regular assistant), Trouble With The Curve stars Clint Eastwood as ageing baseball scout Gus Lobel, who finds his job threatened by both his secretly failing eyesight and a challenge from statistics experts like cocky colleague Sanderson (Matthew Lillard, whose character espouses the ideas Brad Pitt's character has in Moneyball), who's clearly angling for Gus' job.

Attempting to prove he can still cut it in the scouting game, Gus travels down to South Carolina to cast an eye over hard-hitting-but-arrogant newcomer Bo Gentry (Joe Massingill), dragging his hotshot lawyer daughter Mickey (Amy Adams) along in an attempt to do some late-in-the-game bonding.

During the trip, Gus encounters friendly competition in the shape of ex-player-turned-Boston Red Sox scout Johnny Flanagan (Justin Timberlake) and things quickly get more complicated when Johnny and Mickey fall for each other. Meanwhile, Gus' loyal friend and colleague Pete (John Goodman) attempts to defend Gus' record to their boss (Robert Patrick), who's on the point of being swayed by Sanderson's arguments.

The Good
Eastwood is fine as Gus, delivering a performance that isn't really much of a stretch and punctuating almost every speech with a comedy growl. Adams, by contrast, contributes a turn that is probably much better than the film really deserves, while there's strong support from the always-reliable John Goodman and Lillard is suitably slimey as Sanderson. As for Timberlake, he looks a little uncomfortable throughout and there's zero chemistry between him and Adams, so the relationship scenes never really convince.

The Bad
The main problem with the film is a general lack of plot, meaning that the pacing slows to a crawl in the middle section, with the characters all cycling through a series of similar scenes and treading water until the inevitable conclusion. Similarly, the script is both painfully cheesy (a late character revelation is so clumsy and embarrassing that it's likely to draw unintentional laughter) and crushingly predictable, so there are no surprises (or, if you will, ‘curves’, meaning curveballs) from beginning to end.

Worth seeing?
Despite decent performances, Trouble With The Curve is a depressingly dull drama that is let down by a predictable script and lacklustre direction and ultimately fails to connect on an emotional level.

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Trouble With the Curve (12A)
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Content updated: 15/12/2017 04:20

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