J Michael Moncrief

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The Legend of Bagger Vance Review


Excellent
Robert Redford's singular devotion to American mythology continues in The Legend of Bagger Vance, the story of a golfer who's lost his swing and the caddy who brings it back to him. "Inside each and every one of us," says Vance (Smith), "is our one true, authentic swing." It's a metaphor intended to apply to all walks of life, on the fairway or otherwise. If oversweet metaphors like this are your bag, then you're really going to like Bagger Vance.

The story opens in the present with an aged Hardy Greaves (Jack Lemmon) suffering a heart attack on a golf course. As he lies quietly smiling to himself, he muses on the frequency of his cardiovascular failures and his love of the game of golf, which meanders into a quixotic narration on the career of Rannulph Junuh (Damon). Soon the narrative fades to the past and we see Junuh at the height of his career, in the company of the enchanting Adele Invergordon (played by Charlize Theron of The Devil's Advocate fame; who, by the way, happens to represent the purest embodiment of good, wholesome sex that the film industry has to offer).

Continue reading: The Legend of Bagger Vance Review

The Legend Of Bagger Vance Review


Weak

Isn't it ironic that Robert Redford, the Sundance sugar daddy of independent film, seems to have become incapable of directing a movie that isn't utterly conventional, soft-focused Hollywood melodrama?

Granted, he's good at it. There's a certain beauty and poetry to films like "A River Runs Through It," "The Horse Whisperer" and his new golf-as-philosophy fable "The Legend of Bagger Vance," but it's a Hallmark card kind of beauty and poetry, printed on flimsy paperboard and worth $2.50 at most.

The title character of "Bagger Vance" -- a folksy, Southern, porch swing spirit guide played by Will Smith -- even speaks a lot like a Hallmark card.

Continue reading: The Legend Of Bagger Vance Review

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