24th Nov 2012 2:55pm | By Alasdair Morton
Eastwood’s new film sees the grizzled Hollywood veteran stepping back in front of the camera and allowing someone else to call the shots for this sporting analogy father-daughter drama.
The legend’s long-time second unit/assistant director, Robert Lorenz, who’s worked on the likes of Million Dollar Baby and Mystic River, makes his feature debut, so too scriptwriter Randy Brown.
But the duo steer things down as cliched a path as you’ll find. All the film is missing is a home-run, final credits freeze-frame.
Eastwood is Gus, a grumpy old talent scout whose eyes are failing him and is about to be usurped by younger, IT-literate up-and-comers.
So, his almost-estranged daughter joins him on the road for one last star-searching mission, and the two bond over their lack of relationship over the preceding years.
Dirty Harry can play these roles in his sleep and as good as he is at the gruff old dog routine – and entertaining it is to see him embrace age on screen – it’s a routine we’ve seen countless times before.
Adams, though, as the daughter he spurned who has sought career success elsewhere outside of baseball, is spiky and engaging, and her blossoming relationship with Timberlake’s upstart scout injects some life into the slow pace, which takes a long time to not get very far at all.
There are warm moments, but its overreliance on cliche gives it little to swing for.
Were it a baseball player, it’d be a workmanlike journeyman, who would have made a career for himself but never been especially memorable or high-flying.
Good for: Those who are satisfied by unambitious Hollywood fare
Starring: Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, Justin Timberlake | 12A | 111mins