Master’s Week Celebration – “Bagger Vance”

"first question, what the hell is this thing?"

For the golf purist, this is a tough balancing act this weekend…Easter with the family vs. locked-in viewing of the Master’s Invitational. I always knew golf was of the devil. Since I am as golf golf as they come, I thought the moment ideal for a daily quick hit of golf thoughts I have this week.

The Worst Golf Movie Ever Made – Part 1

If you were expecting “Caddyshack 2”, you obviously think this is amateur hour. You go in KNOWING “Caddyshack 2” is going to suck, it’s just a given. What you don’t expect is for a movie starring Matt Damon, Charlize Theron, and Will Smith to suck to the extent that it collapses the universe around itself like a black hole, taking all that is sacred along for the ride. “The Legend of Bagger Vance,” based on the novel of the same name, (Steven Pressfield – 1995) was inflicted upon the viewing public in the year 2000. Directed by Robert Redford, the film revolves around a post-Depression golf exhibition between Walter Hagen, Bobby Jones, and Rannulph Junuh.

First rule of a sports movie – try to get an actor who can actually play the sport; it makes it SO much more interesting for the viewer. I love Matt Damon, possibly to the point of man-crush. Good decent human being, smart, makes pretty damn good movies, and starred in “Rounders,” an all-time favorite. But Matt can’t golf. Matt learned to golf for the movie, and my bet is he got to the point he can break 90; respectable, but not if you’re going to portray a character who is going to play a match vs. the great Bobby Jones; I’m guessing Redford could have called upon any of 100 actors to play the role, but he went “box office.” Damon’s swing has more moving parts than an octopus falling out of a tree (thanks to you, Mr. Feherty). It’s insulting to anyone who plays golf – his swing looks like the swing your wife has when you teach her to golf (sorry hon, but’s freakin’ true.) Let’s add this – Damon’s character, Rannulph Junuh (what the hell?) is a Georgia Cracker. As Southern as black-eyed peas and collard greens, native to Savannah, and mentally scarred by the events of the WWI.

Damon is a Southie, all right, but it’s a Boston Southie. This is the one exception to the rule “NEVER cast Matthew McConaughey” – even that douchebag would have been more believable than Damon trying to pull off a “y’all.” This is why people like me think we could make movies – because someone named ROBERT REDFORD decided to cast a Beantown hacker as a mythical Southern golf prodigy.

……tomorrow ~ Will Smith? Are you f*cking kidding me?


6 thoughts on “Master’s Week Celebration – “Bagger Vance”

  1. Never actually saw all of this movie. I had many people I respect that told me it sucked. I think I caught about 15 minutes when it was on cable. I will now need to watch it for the suckiness.

    On the flip side “The Greatest Game Ever Played” was a fantastic movie (obviously different from Caddyshack) and is one of my favorites of all time.

    Last note, Feherty on the Golf Channel is one of the best shows going. I am sure Whit has seen it but if anyone else has not you need to check it out.

    • “Greatest Game…” is everything “Bagger” is not, awesome flick ~ had no idea who Shia Lebouf was back then, the kid knocked it out of the park in that movie. The scene at the end when his Dad gives him a dollar & a thumbs up is an admitted “sports cry” on my part!

  2. Pingback: Play Ball | Snooty Call

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