The Rookie

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Inky: **1/2

Trailers: Stuart Little 2, Scooby Doo, Mr. Deeds, The Hulk (tease), Star Wars
Episode 2: Attack of the Clones, Men in Black 2, XXX

Starring: Dennis Quaid, Rachel Griffiths, Jay Hernandez, Brian Cox, Angus T. Jones, Beth Grant

Previews: Spider-Man, The Country Bears, Like Mike, Star Wars Episode 2, Lilo and Stitch #2 (The Little Mermaid)

Sorry for the belated quality of this review - it took a whole week-and-a-half to get off my lazy butt and write. However, I did write another thing for DailyDigest, and hopefully it'll be up soon. Another thing, if I mess up plot points here cause I have to remember the whole darn thing, don't tell me. Please.

Okay anyway, this film is enjoyable enough. Although it runs on too long for a kids movie (127 minutes!), it has good morals and the actors do a good job. Let me cover the good things with the bad.

Okay, good things: Quaid. This is HIS film. He's the head-lining star, he's the center of the story, he's the male Julia Roberts (if that man smiles any bigger he's going to split his lip) and, well, he makes it work. If they got some schmaltzy star, like Alec Baldwin (shiver), this film would suck. I mean majorly suck. Now don't get me wrong, Quaid isn't the first choice I'd make (Tom Hanks, anyone?), and he's not doing anything Oscar-caliber here, but he certainly does make the film a lot better.

Another good thing is the strong story line. Sure, script-writer Mike Rich leaves a few things hanging (what the heck is with nuns and the yellow roses?), but mostly, everything makes pretty good sense. He introduces characters very well (going to the town drug store to pick up socks ends up in a life-long friendship) and makes us think we know the characters. They seem three-dimensional, with many sides. Of course, the actors help that out too.

Thirdly, Trevor Morgan (The Glass House, The Patriot, Jurassic Park III) is in this. Which brings up something else - when is he going to quit? Sheesh!

But the reason this rating goes down is because of some pretty dumb stuff in this movie. We don't need the tense father-in-the-Army-son-just-wanting-to-be-loved-and-understood relationship (ever heard of that?), or slow-mo on EVERY SINGLE PITCH the adult Jim Morris throws (gee, a sports movie? Slow-motion? Never!) This gets quite annoying and makes the viewer just twiddle their thumbs or think "Gee, I'll bet they homer and Jim messes up!" That is the film's major downside. And it is sizeable.

You all know the story. This guy, Jim (or Jimmy) Morris loves pitching when he's young but nothing comes of his dream and he grows up and becomes s cience teacher/high school baseball coach. His team is awful. He strikes a bet that if they get to the play-offs he'll try out for the minor leagues (the team knows of his considerable pitching skills.) He's really old to be trying out (I think he's 38 or so), but guess what? He gets in! Are you shocked? Then he pitches well in a minor-league game and guess what? He gets called up to play in the majors! The Tampa Bay Devil Rays! Everyone is happy, the [spoiler]father-son relationship finally gets patched up[/spoiler] and all ends well. I guess it's a kids movie, but you'd think something worse would happen than Jim's parents divorcing. Oh well.

On and end note, The Rookie is good, but not great. It's good for kids, but a bit too long, okay for adults, but way to googly-schmoogly. It's an okay show, not a popcorn flick, but satisfactory. See it, and take a bathroom break or refresh your soda when you get bored.

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