Gus (Clint Eastwood) is a typically grizzled old coot whose eyes are going bad, which, for a scout, is the kiss of death. So, when his best friend and boss Pete Klein (John Goodman) gives him the one last chance that the plot has to grant him, Pete hedges by calling in Gus’s somewhat estranged daughter Mickey (Amy Adams), a headstrong lawyer who has learned all of the tricks of the scouting trade from her old man, to shadow Gus. It doesn’t matter that Mickey’s facing a major case that could land her partnership at her firm (she would be the youngest partner and the only female).
To sweeten the pot for her, there’s a young scout named Johnny (Justin Timberlake) who was once a promising pitcher that Gus touted, before he blew his arm out. All of these characters have their eyes on a hotshot prospect on the field, but we know the real inside game is the interplay between these three struggling players. Unfortunately, that whiff you hear is the sound of Trouble With The Curve striking out. There’s not a single change-up in the drama and its fastball comes across the plate like a big fat slow-pitch softball, but long-time Eastwood second unit director Robert Lorenz (Million Dollar Baby) and this usually reliable stable of heavy hitters can’t make meaningful contact with each other or the more discerning members of the audience, the real talent scouts out there who want to take a swing at something that resembles the real game of life. Opens wide Sept. 21. (PG-13) Grade: D
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