Rated: PG-13 for language. Reviewed by: Chris Release date: September 30, 1994 Released by: Twentieth Century Fox
Albert Brooks is one of may favorite comic actors. Every time I think of him sweating profusely while delivering the news in Broadcast News, I laugh. So when I knew he was starring in a new film, I jumped at the chance to see it. Too bad everything but Brooks is a disappointment.
Brooks plays Al Percolo, a baseball scout who goes to Mexico after being let go by the Yankees. There, he discovers Steve Nebraska (Brendan Fraser), a young talent who can pitch a 109 mile-per-hour fastball.
Percolo brings Steve back to the U.S. and offers him to the team with the highest bid. The Yankee's George Steinbrenner wins with a $55 million bid for this pitching wonder. But there's one condition: that Steve gets a clean bill of health from a psychiatrist first.
This isn't really a baseball movie, it's more of a relationship film between two guys. Nebraska has some real psychological problems; loud nightmares, pent-up hostility and memory loss (maybe a guest appearance of Geraldo could straighten this guy out), and Percolo not only is his coach, but he's also forced to be his babysitter.
Dianne Weist is all business as Steve's psychiatrist and singer Tony Bennett provides a humorous cameo.
Fraser, so good in School Ties, just acts goofy here. It's Brooks who provides the best moments in the film, which unfortunately don't occur often enough. His self effacement and insecurity are very appealing. It's a shame he doesn't have a good script to work with.
The plot is confusing, it jumps from the relationship between the two men, to Steve's deep-rooted problems (which are never resolved), to a baseball movie, and none are fully explored.