Sunday, January 31, 2010
The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000)
Directed by Robert Redford. "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" is the "Citizen Kane" of movies in which a magical black man teaches whitey the ways of life. Sidney Poitier is the all-time great go-to guy for that role, not just in "Dinner" but in a zillion other films with a similar theme, some good, others not so good. Will Smith starred in 1993's "Six Degrees of Separation," a thinly veiled companion piece to statement by his publicist to make him the Sidney Poitier of a new generation.
Although similarly themed, "Six Degrees of Separation" was not bad and "The Legend of Bagger Vance" is a steaming pile of horse shit. The irony of the title is, of course, is that all 126 minutes of this movie go by without the audience learning one bit of the legend of Bagger Vance. Bagger is an incredibly minor character in this tale. This story is about white golfers and pretty young debutants, while Smith's character of Bagger, could easily be replaced by a magical leprechaun.
I think it's supposed to be fascinating how he appears out of nowhere, helps everybody, and then when he feels like he's done his job, walks off into the night, but if you're not stupid, you will understand that this is just a bullshit cop out. There is NO LEGEND OF BAGGER VANCE. The guy actually a celebratory minstrel-style shuffle dance on his way off-screen. For the leprechaun it would be a little jig. It would have made as much sense to animate Sonny, the Cocoa Puffs Bird into this role.
I'll say this, these days a lot of people write about shitty movies and say, 'this was so bad I can't even say it was so bad it was good.' But I think this was. This was so bad it was good. So have some friends over. Recommended.