3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
FOR THE "WILFULLY" STUPID AND EVERYONE ELSE!,
I recently read a quote about golf from 1908 that I really liked. It observed, simply, that to be obsessed with golf "is not so much a sign of pitiable insanity as of 'wilful' stupidity." Well count me as one of the "wilfully" stupid and if you are too then THE LEGEND OF BAGGER VANCE is a movie that you will absolutely love.
The movie tells the story of a has-been champion golfer, Rannulph Junuh (Matt Damon), who goes to war and loses his identity. More importantly he also loses his swing (which to any golfer who knows IS his identity). He leaves behind the course, his life and the girl. The girl (Charlize Theron), upon the suicide of her father, becomes the owner of a championship golf course and, in order to put it on the map and get herself out of debt, plans an unlikely exhibition golf match and invites the day's golf greats Bobby Jones (Joel Gretsch) and Walter Hagen (Bruce McGill) to come and play. There's just one problem. The local city fathers, in order to draw a local gallery, demand that a local representative join the match. Who else is to be invited? None other than Junuh. Never mind that he has become a pathetic drunk and hasn't swung a club in years. We need a miracle, right?
Right! Enter Bagger Vance (Will Smith), a mysterious, ghostly caddy who appears out of nowhere and not only helps Junuh find his swing and his game but also face the demons that have come to roost between his ears and find himself again. Wil Smith steals the show and, in one of the final scenes, will literally dance his way into your heart.
Directed by Robert Redford, THE LEGEND OF BAGGER VANCE is a beautiful movie to watch and goes well beyond golf as a game. This movie speaks of golf as an incomparable parable of life. Jack Lemmon is wonderful in a cameo as an elderly golfer who is ready to take his game to a higher (perhaps angelic) level and narrates the tale as he thinks back to the magical events he witnessed as a boy.
Whether you like golf or not THE LEGEND OF BAGGER VANCE will be a movie that you will love. Again, for the "wilfully" stupid, it's a great movie to watch just before your next round.