Trouble with the Curve 2/4: a movie review by James Berardinelli

December 6, 2012 by James Berardinelli - Reelviews
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Following his starring role in 2008’s Gran Torino, Clint Eastwood decided to step away from appearing in front of the cameras. His self-imposed acting hiatus lasted four years.

His decision to make a comeback at age 82 for Trouble with the Curve makes one wonder if retirement wasn’t the best decision. This isn’t the worst performance Eastwood has given in his 57-year career, but it’s his least inspired in about a decade. His interpretation of Gus, an aging baseball scout for the Atlanta Braves, is a walking, talking caricature – a cartoon of a Grumpy Old Man who goes a little soft at the end. This is a character we have seen a million times before and Eastwood brings little that’s new or original to the part.

The movie as a whole can be labeled with the same criticism. There’s not a single moment in Trouble with the Curve that doesn’t follow the expected trajectory. It’s as if screenwriter Randy Brown went to work on the script with a checklist in hand of how to develop a completely formulaic story about a crusty father and adult daughter finding one another during the twilight of his life. If you think it’s going to happen, it probably will. This is a stale, safe movie that could have gotten a “G” rating if not for some naughty words.

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