We like Jon Hamm. We think he's underappreciated by the Emmy's and wish he had a more successful movie career. That said, we just watched this trailer for 'Million Dollar Arm,' Hamm's first lead role and we wish we had nicer things to say about it.
'Million Dollar Arm' is one of those "based on a true story" sports tales, not unlike 'Moneyball' and 'The Blind Side.' But, where those films went on to rack up multiple Oscar nominations, we can't see the same success for 'Million Dollar Arm.'
The trailer introduces us to J.B. Bernstein (Hamm), a sports agent who's down on his luck after losing a major prospect to a rival. The "tell me you didn't sign with him" bit is cribbed almost entirely from the Jerry O'Connell "Cush" scenes in 'Jerry Maguire.' From there, it's a continued amalgam of just about every sports movie you've ever seen. It's like 'Major League,' 'The Air Up There,' 'The Rookie' and countless others. By the time Bernstein finds a pair of Indian cricket players he hopes to turn into major league pitchers, you can see the "teach each other lessons" subplot coming a mile away.
Mostly, 'Million Dollar Arm' seems like an opportunity for Disney to get a little corporate synergy going with ESPN. There are ESPN talking heads featured prominently and popular columnist (and real life friend of Hamm) Bill Simmons executive produced the movie.
It's a fine movie we'd be happy to skip in theaters and watch on a cross-country flight one day, we just like Jon Hamm and think he deserves better. Couldn't he have been our new Batman?
Just in time for the 2014 baseball season, 'Million Dollar Arm' opens in theaters on May 16, 2014.