“Million Dollar Arm” is a story with a lot of heart, a dash of culture, and baseball and it equals success for Disney.
Hello Moviegoers! “Million Dollar Arm” succeeds because it journeys to India and it takes something, so American, like baseball, and it blends culture. Based on a true story, the film highlights character, perseverance, and the steps involved in creating the next great baseball pitcher.
Million Dollar Arm ( 2 ½ sweet potatoes out of four) Stars: Jon Hamm, Madhur Mittal, Suraj Sharma, Lake Bell, Aasif Mandvi, and Pitobash; Director: Craig Gillespie Genre: Biographical Sports Drama; Rated: PG; Running Time: 124 minutes; Opens: Friday, May 16th, 2014.
J. B. Bernstein (Jon Hamm) is a down on his luck agent who is struggling with starting his own agency. After failing to sign a successful linebacker, J.B. is out of ideas until Ash (Aasif Mandvi), his partner’s, obsession with cricket enlightens him to a new idea. J.B sells the concept of finding a cricket bowler and converting him to a MLB pitcher to an investor and the reality competition, Million Dollar Arm is born.
Once in India J.B. is joined by aspiring Indian baseball coach, Amit (Pitobash), and the competition show starts with a dud. Failure, after failure continues, as J.B. struggles to find anyone who can pitch at above 60 mph. The only thing going for him is a new friendship forming with his tenant, Brenda (Lake Bell), whose Skype calls prove a welcome distraction. Finally, Dinesh (Madhur Mittal) and Rinku (Suraj Sharma) catch the show’s attention, and things may come together. But before J.B. can begin to achieve success he has to grow up a little.
Although the film is predictable and sentimental to a fault, Jon Hamm’s charm anchors the film. The true stand-outs are Pitobash, Mittal, and Sharma who don’t get enough screen time in favor of Hamm which is unfortunate. Also, the film fails to really take advantage of immersing the audience in Indian culture and taking another angle than the typical character redeemed plot. The film’s formula is built to highlight the struggles, ups, and downs of athlete achieving success, since Bernstein is an agent the formula would have benefitted from a tweak.
All in all, “Million Dollar Arm” is an inspiring and uplifting film. Although it doesn’t give enough attention to Dinesh and Rinku who both played professional with the Pirates in real life, their characters are present enough to give the movie the necessary feel good boost. I give “Million Dollar Arm” two and a half sweet potatoes out of four.
I’m A. P. Richardson for Moviegoers View and I will see you after the movies at moviegoersview.com.