Tough love and endearing perfs can't overcome banal sports-movie cliches in Korean baseball pic "Glove."
Tough love and endearing perfs can’t overcome banal sports-movie cliches in Korean baseball pic “Glove.” Savvy producer and journeyman helmer Kang Woo-suk (“Moss,” “Silmido”) teams again with thesp Jung Jae-young to provide the ferocity the story requires, but the based-on-a-true-story script boasts too many subplots to score a home run. A solid hitter at the Korean B.O., where it scored 13.5 billion won ($12.1 million) in February, pic will play well in baseball-crazy Japan when it’s released there next summer. Wayward structure and an extensive running time will deter other international markets.
As penance for an alcohol-fueled PR scandal, champion pitcher Kim Song-nam (Jung) is positioned by his scheming agent (a funny perf by Jo Jin-woong) to coach a baseball team at a school for the hearing-impaired. Nam straightens up and flies right too quickly and spends the rest of the time trying to teach rebellious pitcher Myeong-jae (Jang Ki-bum) how to blend determination with humility. Helming is functional and perfs are solid, but the overloaded script never convinces. A climactic baseball match in a near-empty stadium just adds to the pic’s sense of futility. Tech credits are good.