Friday 29 August 2014

"Million Dollar Arm" (The Guardian 29/08/14)

Million Dollar Arm **
Dir: Craig Gillespie. With: Jon Hamm, Aasif Mandvi, Alan Arkin. 124 mins. Cert: PG

A cold hard business story, reshaped by Disney into a warm, fuzzy hug. Jon Hamm plays J.B. Bernstein, a true-life sports management nabob facing an eroding client base; his solution lay East, in staging a talent contest designed to recruit young Indian cricketers as Major League pitchers. Hamm and Alan Arkin’s grouchy scout conclude these deals with unarguable professionalism, but two hours allows us to spot the manoeuvres required to magic neo-colonialist playbook into heartwarming fairytale: the SuBo clips, the subplot elevating vapid Bernstein from model-boffing (boo!) to tenant-boffing (erm, yay?), the fondly indulgent regard for white guys plundering developing nations’ resources. Viewed this way: not so feelgood.

Million Dollar Arm opens in cinemas nationwide today.

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