Provident Films

Scott Elrod, right, plays a ballplayer forced to make amends for problems caused by his drinking.

Movie review: 'Home Run' doesn't quite get over fence

Published: Friday, Apr. 19, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 18TICKET

The first rule of any baseball movie is that the guys cast to star in it have to look like they can play. And in "Home Run," Scott Elrod has the build, the swagger and the sweet swing of a big leaguer. That makes him and this thin tale of 12-step redemption credible and watchable, if nothing else.

Elrod, a character actor who played a hunk hired to perform the fake film script in "Argo," here is a big-league slugger with alcohol problems and daddy issues.

It all blows up the day Cory's drunkenly called out after hitting what he thought was an inside-the-park home run. The tirade he tosses injures a batboy – his own nephew, it turns out – and earns him an eight-week suspension.

That forces his agent (Vivica A. Fox, terrific) to get creative. She packs him off to his hometown. But another screw-up – a DUI – adds to the mess.

Now he's got to go to 12-step "Celebrate Recovery" meetings. And he has to coach his brother's Little League team.

There's a disapproving sister-in-law (Nicole Leigh), a few star-struck Little League parents, and a fellow coach (Dorian Brown) who happens to have been Cory's high school sweetheart. And she has a son (Charles Henry Wyson) in need of a father figure.

"Home Run" is an utterly conventional, faith-based film built around Cory's coming to grips with his demons, making amends for his wrongs and finding religion. The cast does what it can to enliven that, but the 12-step meetings are too familiar.

The trouble with that is it robs Cory's journey of any emotional punch. The script lacks on-the-field drama as well, with Cory having few real nuggets of wisdom to teach the kids about America's Pastime. But the scenes between Elrod and Fox crackle, and the movie never goes far wrong so long as Cory's going wrong – on and off the field.


HOME RUN

Two stars

Cast: Scott Elrod, Dorian Brown, Vivica A. Fox

Director: David Boyd

93 minutes

Rated PG-13 for some mature thematic material

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Roger Moore



Sacramento Bee Job listing powered by Careerbuilder.com
Quick Job Search
Sacramento Bee Jobs »
Buy
Used Cars
Dealer and private-party ads
Make:

Model:

Price Range:
to
Search within:
miles of ZIP

Advanced Search | 1982 & Older

TODAY'S CIRCULARS