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.

Glove

South Korea

Production

A CJ Entertainment release and presentation of a Cinema Service, KnJ Entertainment Creative production. (International sales: CJ Entertainment, Seoul.) Produced by Jung Sun-Young. Executive producer, Kathrine Kim. Directed by Kang Woo-suk. Screenplay, Kim Ki-bum.

Crew

Camera (color, widescreen), Kim Young-heung; editor, Go Im-pyo; music, Choi Young-wuk; production designer, Zoh Sung-won, Lee Tae-hoon. Reviewed at Hong Kong Filmart, March 21, 2011. Running time: 144 MIN.

With

Jung Jae-young, Yu Sun, Jang Ki-bum, Jo Jin-woong, Kim Mi-kyeong, Kang Shin-il.
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