A Film Review By Jason L. King
|Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content and language.
Directed By:Charles Stone III
Baseball is America’s pastime. Anyone who has played the game tells you abut the smell of the turf, the taste of the dirt and the smell of the sweat and leather all accented by the cracking sound of a bat. The pros talk of the roar of the fans and the adrenaline rush that makes you feel like an immortal. Off the ball field the players are just normal guys like you and me, but on the field even if it is only for one moment, they are like gods.
The story behind Mr. 3000 tells the tale of one such immortal God, Stan Ross. Stan believed he had made his mark when he reached 3000 career base hits. Upon reaching this milestone and feeling his spot in the hall of fame was secured Stan the Man stepped away from the game once and for all and became an entrepreneur using his name Mr. 3000 as his trademark. But 9 years later this cocky former pro finds out an error in the record books turns out to only make him Mr. 2997. In order to live up to his Trademark name, Stan tries to make a miraculous comeback to the game at age 47. Laughed at by his teammates the cocky old timer learns the lessons he never learned in his youth about teamwork, and in the process he gives his team an attitude that may spark the winning streak the team so desperately needs.
Bernie Mac does a great job as the cocky ballplayer, Stan Ross. His ridiculous antics and over the top cockiness is almost too much at times. Some may tell us that the role was trying to make a statement about ball players today, especially as they poke fun at big slugger Barry Bonds with a rip off Reebok commercial, but for me it was just too over the top. But none the less, you can’t help but chuckle at Stan’s antics and can’t help but laugh at a player who is so obsessed with himself that he literally talk to his image on the scoreboard in centerfield.
Like any sports film, this is the lighthearted fluff that everyone expected. From start to finish you pretty much know what is going to happen and the valuable lessons that will be learned. Following suit with kids films like Little Big League and Rookie of the Year this film takes a look at what the game of baseball should be about, Friends and fun. But make no mistake Moms and Dads, by that I didn’t mean it was a family safe flick. There is enough language and sexual comments that are made that can keep an overprotective mom occupied with tossing her hands over her son’s ears. Scenes such as a Japanese pitcher who doesn’t know how to properly string together obscenities, and Ross’s bad attitude and the occasional swear word makes sure to remind us that this movie isn’t one intended for the little ones.
Cinematically this film brings nothing new to the table. The camera shot and angles are simple and straightforward. The only time anything actually impressed me is an overhead shot of the home plate, where a tipped off foul ball flies up and almost hits the camera. To me at least, it leapt out at me and looked cool, but was nothing great.
In the end, Mr. 3000 is everything a critic can expect out of September. It’s a lighthearted popcorn flick that couldn’t hold a candle to a summer blockbuster or a fall Oscar Contender. But then again Mr. 3000 isn’t aspiring to be either one of those. The problem is with so many other great baseball flicks such as the Major League Series and more, Mr. 3000 is far to average overall to be remembered. Soon it will find itself sitting alone and unrented on rental shelves across America, right next to a copy of Mr. Baseball starring Magnum P.I.