... gonna have an Oscar sittin' next to my Grammys ... "
a direct quote, from the song "Y'All Know" off of Will
Smith's first release under that name, "Big Willie Style."
you didn't click the wrong link. This is not the music review.
of that quote is accurate. Smith is virtually a lock to be nominated
for the Best Rap Album Grammy every year he releases a CD. His
success on the big screen, however, has been more financial than
critical. He's done the action films ("Bad Boys,"
"Enemy of the State") and the sci-fi films ("Men In
Black") and the movies that combine the two ("Independence
Day," "Wild Wild West"), and while all of them have
been huge successes at the box office, the reviews have ranged from
average to downright pathetic. Smith tries drama this time, in
"The Legend Of Bagger Vance."
movie has a lot of basic problems. First off, the actors, while
performing relatively well, are placed in the wrong roles. Smith's
co-star Matt Damon (an Oscar winner in "Good Will Hunting,"
though not for acting) played a South Boston misguided genius a lot
better than he plays a jaded war veteran. Smith is far too young to
be believable in his role as the "life is like a box of
chocolates" mentor, and Charlize Theron ("Reindeer
Games," "Mighty Joe Young") really doesn't speak
Southern very well. There a few bright spots though--the cameo from
the legendary Jack Lemmon ("Grumpy Old Men," "The Odd
Couple") is priceless, and Lane Smith (TV's "The Adventures
of Lois and Clark) is good as a reporter who comes to Georgia to
watch Matt Damon play golf.
more loose ends than a supermodel who hasn't dried her hair in about
big problem the movie has is the plot. It opens up a lot of threads,
and does little to close them down. Matt Damon is a war veteran who
manages to overcome his current situation without dealing with his
past ones. Charlize Theron, who accepts Damon back after he
disappeared on her for 10 years is the most forgiving woman in the
entire world. And the little boy who becomes Damon's second caddy
(played by J. Michael Moncrief) has a spat with his father over petty
issues such as integrity and pride, and then the two miraculously
make up without saying so much as one word to one another. This movie
to r) Will Smith and Matt Damon star in The
Legend of Bagger Vance
maybe the most annoying thing about the movie was the complete
disconnection between the movie and the time in which it was set. The
movie is set in 1930's Georgia; yet Bagger Vance, played by one of
the blackest men in the world, is only berated by the white folks
when he tries to leave the golf tournament. He's sitting in the white
locker room, and no one says anything. Yeah, right. Another thing
along the same lines is that during the golf tournament, plenty of
black people can be seen among the spectators--probably not something
that would have happened in Savannah in the 30s.
movie is a cross between "The Horse Whisperer" and any
movie you have to think way too much about to understand it (a couple
of those being "The Thin Red Line" and
"Magnolia.") Coincidentally, "Whisperer" star
Robert Redford is the director of "Bagger Vance," and
consequently, this movie is too chock full of the senseless romantic
drivel and poetic nonsense that all us men just LOVE to see in movies--especially
those about sports (can we call golf a sport now that an
African-American is dominating it too? I think so.)
in all, this is a movie with a weak plot that is well-acted--by the
wrong actors. It's the best performance by Will Smith in a long time,
but it's nothing to spend $7 for. Your best bet is to wait for the
video--and when you go to Blockbuster to get it, swing by Blockbuster
Music and pick up a copy of something that Will Smith will win an