The Sandlot is yet another wallow in the coming-of-age stakes circa 1962. Sweet and sincere, the film is also remarkably shallow, rife with incident and slim on substance.
Scotty Smalls (Tom Guiry) arrives in some quiet piece of Americana and is recruited into the neighborhood’s ad-hoc baseball team despite – to use the boys’ most withering reference – the fact he ‘plays like a girl’.
Scotty’s mentor is Benny Rodriguez (Mike Vitar), the most charismatic and best player on the block. Running beneath the surface is the promise of some cataclysmic event, foreshadowed in voiceover by the older Scotty (silently played by Arliss Howard and voiced by director David Mickey Evans, both uncredited) 30 years later.
The Sandlot pretends to be about something when it really just strings together loosely connected vignettes. Worse, the setpieces are familiar retreads. The adult roles provide solid cameos for James Earl Jones and Karen Allen.