By J.R. Johnson
“Million Dollar Arm” follows the true story of JB Bernstein (Jon Hamm), a sports agent whose firm is on its last leg. As his agency continues to dwindle, JB puts all his eggs in one basket in an idea called the “Million Dollar Arm” – a competition that sets out to find India’s first professional baseball player. When JB finds his two pitchers, Rinku (Suraj Sharma) and Dinesh (Madhur Mittal), he takes them halfway across the world to America where they train in hopes of getting signed by a major league baseball team.
“Million Dollar Arm” is heartfelt and filled with moments of sentiment and excitement. The tone sets a feeling of triumph and desire for these two underdogs. But much of the emotion is overlapped by the comedic instances that eventually take over the film. The jokes aren’t a disadvantage to the movie, but they do serve as distractions that shorten the core of the film.
The baseball side of the movie comes in a modest dose. The behind the scenes charades are playful and a little more playful than one would expect, it fits the tenor of the movie, but it’s not going to fulfill the average fan’s desire. Still, the focus is on the Rinku and Dinesh trying to accomplish an immense goal, but the stakes don’t feel as high without the presence of the major leagues instead of talking heads.
“Million Dollar Arm” isn’t the sports film that fans have been dying for, but it does have a fun comedic-vibe that is perfectly geared for families.