I'm not a big Bernie Mac fan. There's nothing I hate about him but haven't seen anything to love, either. That being said, I wasn't expecting a whole lot from "Mr. 3000," a comedy about a retired jackass baseball player who has to return to the professionals to reclaim three hits that put him at an even 3,000. Of course, if there's one thing Bernie Mac can play, it's a jackass.
"Mr. 3000" follows the exploits of Stan Ross, a great hitter who, in his day, only thought about himself and no one else. After getting hit number 3,000 halfway through a pennant race, he retired immediately. Now, nine years later he runs several franchises all named after him - he is, after all, Mr. 3000. Unfortunately, as some Cooperstown employees discover, three of his hits are forfeit, which only puts him at 2,997! So, what option does he have other than to return to the struggling Milwaukee Brewers and get those three hits?
"Mr. 3000" isn't a great movie, nor is it a great baseball movie. Nevertheless, it's funny, mildly original and is never boring. It capitalizes on some good baseball moments and several clever tie-ins (a.k.a. product placements) that actually make it stand out among the rest. "Mr. 3000" is a movie of our times, focusing heavily on the business that is baseball. Nowadays, it isn't just about the game - you have to worry about promotions with Reebok, on-screen time with ESPN and more. "Mr. 3000" smartly crafts all of the publicity that makes sports stars what they are, and perhaps helps add to their cockiness, into its screenplay. On top of everything else, Bernie Mac is perfect in the lead role, delivering his character just right as a man who is and always will be an asshole but who we can sympathize with nonetheless.
From a baseball fan's perspective, I didn't notice anything so jarring that it ruined the movie. While there are a few small leaps of the imagination, the baseball element of the movie is pretty well-done. The movie handles most of the sport fairly realistically, never taking the Brewers or its players to a level that just wouldn't be believable (in other words, they thrive to go from last place to third place, not from last to first).
"Mr. 3000" is a fun little movie that's fairly harmless in its execution but also speaks a lot about the current state of sports in general. Football and basketball players especially should be forced to watch this movie to see just how ludicrous some people can be when it comes to ego; baseball players don't seem to be as heavy-headed for the most part, unless you count the steroids scandal.
If you like baseball or you like Bernie Mac, "Mr. 3000" is definitely worth a rental.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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