Hard Ball (2001) Review
Connor O’Neill has lost it all when gambling and owes a lot of different people a lot of money. To start paying some of it back he agrees to coach a Little League baseball team for $500 dollars per week. Oh it’s in a very rough neighbourhood.
This film is nothing that I haven’t seen before in terms of a kids sports team changing someone, but I still throughly enjoyed it from start to finish. It might be predictable at times, it shows the power sport has and how it can bring people together and pretty much change plenty of lives in the process.
Connor’s life is pretty much in danger with the money he owes from gambling with pretty much the wrong people. This is how he ends up “coaching” the little league team. Something he does not really do to begin with but as he gets to know the boys and the background they have, how they have to grow up in danger of being killed. They are scared and the best part of the day/week is playing Baseball.
Once he catches on to all of this you know or you hope that he is then going to turn everything around. It isn’t really that straight forward as we learn that Connor really does have issues but luckily some of these work out well in the end and he really does want to help the team. The film shows how a gambling addiction can really destroy a life, it becomes the only thing that really matters and you will do anything for that occasional high. Risky when the lows are so bad.
I love watching sports films as it really does help to show that it can help people out in so many ways. The boys in this film use the sport to escape feeling scared and see it as a release. In the end Connor actually wants to coach the team and be involved, it helps him through his addiction and that he can actually do something in his life.
Keanu Reeves has never really impressed me in any of the films I have watched him in. He always seems one-dimensional and unfortunately that is the same in this film as well. I wanted to like him I really did, but he just didn’t come across that way at all. Although his speech near the end did bring some tears to my eyes I will admit that. Can’t really say what that was about as would spoil parts of the film, but it certainly was a heartbreaking event.
I wouldn’t say rush out and watch this one, better films about Baseball are out there but it was an ok film overall.