Based on the book “Hardball: A Season in the Projects” by Daniel Coyle, this big-screen drama about a troubled coach and his inner-city youth baseball team is hardly worth the time.
Keanu Reeves is a gambling addict forced into coaching a team of black kids from the Chicago projects in order to pay off his debt. Now I’ve never cared one way or the other about Reeves as an actor, but his performance in this movie provides plenty of fuel for critics.
Reeves plays Conor O’Neill, who comes off about as clueless as you’d expect considering the person playing the part. Even though he shows hardly a sign of actually coaching the kids throughout the movie, they somehow get the season turned around despite the grim surroundings of their community.
As bad as this movie is, the performances of the kids are worth the attention. While the cinematography comes off as amateurish and the story is full of cliches, following along with the vague journey of each kid on the team is all this movie has going for it.
Former Chicago Cubs outfielder Sammy Sosa makes a brief appearance, rather awkwardly and momentarily, while the song “Big Poppa” by The Notorious B.I.G. plays a prominent role throughout.