Bottom of the 9th      review by Bobby Blakey

It’s always interesting to see films come together featuring actors that are related in some manner. Their personal chemistry typically helps the film work better depending on how it plays out. The latest Bottom of the 9th brings Hollywood power couple Joe Manganiello and Sofia Vergara together for this baseball drama. Could this film deliver the chemistry on and off the field or will it strike out on the first chance on the mound?

 

Bottom of the 9th follows a tragic mistake that lands 19-year-old baseball phenom Sonny Stano in jail before his burgeoning professional baseball career gets off the ground.  Now, 20 years later and fresh out of prison, he works to win back his respect, his family, his lost love and his dream of being a professional baseball player. This is a pretty by the numbers film, but will admit that there was a lot more here than I had expected. From the look of the promotions I guess I assumed it was going to be a straight forward romantic flick with some cheese to it and while some of that is here there is some heavier moments to it all.

 

This is Manganiello’s film all the way as his character tries to just get back to life that he has missed out on from being in prison. Unlike a lot of these kinds of films it felt less like he was looking for redemption and instead just wanted to move on. Sure he wanted to make amends for his mistakes, but the focus was more about him just trying to put his life back together and accept everything he lost. He did a good job with the character and brought the needed emotions to make it work without every falling too far into the world of cliché.

 

The romantic aspect obviously works as you can feel the chemistry with them to no surprise, but it really isn’t as a big a part of the film as a whole as you might think. Some of the best parts of the film are early on involving the baseball practices as we slowly see his skill coming  back and how good his character really was which in turn makes what he lost all the more impactful. The ending is pretty much what I expected, but with a twist that I didn’t expect to be thrown in to make it a bit more interesting.

 

In the end this is a good movie that works despite still being predictable. They weren’t trying to break the mold in film but instead just telling the story they wanted to tell and it works.

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