Mr. 3000 (2004) / Comedy-Romance
MPAA Rated: PG-13 for language and sexuality
Running Time: 104 min.
Cast: Bernie Mac, Angela Bassett, Michael Rispoli, Brian J. White, Ian Anthony Dale, Evan Jones, Amaury Nolasco, Dondre Whitfield, Paul Sorvino, Earl Billings
Director: Charles Stone III
Screenplay: Eric Champnella, Keith Mitchell, Howard Gould
Flimsy and forgettable, Mr. 3000 is yet another mildly funny sports film that seeks to do little more than to entertain for the moment. Along those lines, it is pleasant enough to make it worthwhile, although this is one of those comedies that is amusing strictly for the oddball characters rather than the funny script. Perhaps because it stars Bernie Mac (Ocean's 11, Bad Santa), you'll be disappointed that this doesn't contain more laughs, but Mr. 3000 isn't really trying to hit your funny bone all of the time. Rather, it is cute and charming in a way that lets you know early on that the creators of this film want you to leave with a smile, and they will manipulate situations every which way until they get it. So do they? Kinda.
Mac plays Stan Ross, one of the greats to play for the Milwaukee Brewers over the years. He is what's known as a selfish player, whose only goal is to beef up his own stats whenever he's at the plate, and whether or not he helps the team is merely a by-product of his ego trip. In 1995, Stan reached a career pinnacle, 3,000 hits, which is a benchmark statistic into getting into Cooperstown, the baseball Hall of Fame. Fast forward nine years later, and Stan is living off of his reputation as an entrepreneur, but the press hates him, and he is still waiting to be voted in. On a fluke, it seems that one of the games that Stan played wasn't "official", negating the three hits he had gotten. This means he only has 2,997 hits, and the one sure thing he had going for him is gone. Stan has a plan -- he will come back at the ripe age of 47 and get those three hits he needs. The road doesn't prove to be easy, as his age is a factor, as well as the fact that he isn't in playing shape, but the front office sees a way to get fans in the seats and they find a spot for him on he team.
Yes, it's wholly contrived, but the producers of Mr. 3000 are banking on Bernie Mac's personality to carry the film, which he does do for the most part. Mac isn't stellar, but he is amusing and intelligent, so when he's on screen, there's usually some entertainment to be had. He's helped by a colorful cast of supporting characters, although none are particularly standouts, and even a fine actress in Angela Bassett (The Score, Supernova) is limited to a thinly defined character to try to inject some humanity into, to no avail. It doesn't help that the forays into romance are where the film hits the most serious lulls.
From a baseball standpoint, it doesn't always make sense, so some suspension of disbelief is required. Mr. 3000 is a mild comedy for people who aren't that savvy when it comes to baseball or movies, and who like Bernie Mac, so if that sounds like you, it will hold your attention. It's a throwaway film, but does manage to hit enough right notes at the right moments to be worth your time, but just barely. If one were to compare this to baseball terminology, this one bats about .250, but does have some pop.Qwipster's rating:
©2004 Vince Leo