U.S. Release Date:
September 17, 2004
Distributor: Buena Vista
Director: Charles Stone III
Producer: Gary Barber, Roger Birnbaum, Jonathan Glickman (executive), Frank Marshall (executive)
Composer: John Powell
Cast: Bernie Mac, Angela Bassett, Tom Arnold (Cameo)
Running Time: 1 hour and 44 minutes
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (sexual content and language)
Mr. 3000 is a dreary tale of a loutish baseball player's egomaniacal quest to get into the Baseball Hall of Fame that is at once unfunny, uninspiring and cynical.
Bernie Mac stars as Stan Ross, a member of baseball's elite 3000 hit club, who spent his career with the Milwaukee Brewers attacking the fans and his retirement attacking the press. He is a crude, loud, thoroughly unappealing character. When it's discovered that three of his hits don't count and his automatic qualification for the Hall of Fame is gone, Stan returns to the team he despises to earn his three hits.
Helping him in his quest is his friend Boca (Michael Rispoli) who dresses like an escapee from a Florida retirement village and lovingly puts up with his friend's loutish behavior. Also around rooting for Stan is Mo (Angela Bassett), an ESPN correspondent and one-time girlfriend.
Mr. 3000 is not a complete wash. Stan is made to go through training and his teammates—all young enough to be his sons—are not happy with his return to the team, requiring him to earn their respect. The only one happy about Stan's return is club owner Schembri (a wasted Chris Noth), who sees dollar signs every time a capacity crowd, there to see Stan, enter the park.
The batting average is low—for every positive element, including a solid performance by the under-utilized Brian White as the team's only star T-Rex, there are about 10 terrible moments. The romance between Stan and Mo has sparks, but is strictly sitcom-ish. Scenes with the other players, including the team's obscenity-challenged Japanese pitcher fall flat. The baseball game scenes are well executed, but there's little tension—except at the very end—and, based on the scenes immediately preceding, don't make a lot of narrative sense.
The primary problem with Mr. 3000 is one of focus. The movie fixates on Stan and Mo's relationship instead of the relationship between Stan and his doppelganger, T-Rex. It would have been in this dynamic—which is hinted at—where Stan's eventual rehabilitation is found. As it stands, his comedic journey is too easy and strictly minor league.