Having recently delivered middlebrow stodge like Invictus, Hereafter and J. Edgar from the director’s chair, it’s been a while since Clint Eastwood has had a chance to chew some scenery. With directing duties left to longtime collaborator Robert Lorenz, Eastwood steps in front of the camera once more, finding the same ardent growl that made Gran Torino such an enjoyable boilermaker of a film. Unfortunately, Trouble with the Curve is as toothless as the man himself, a catatonic baseball drama that suffers from the same mouldy traditionalism championed in Eastwood’s cranky talent scout.
Clint Eastwood is a man whose name you should know. Even if he occasionally has no name. He is a bona fide, genuine legend of the big screen. And he has 12 different Wikipedia pages. Trouble with the Curve, released on Friday, resurrects Eastwood’s now traditional persona of grizzly-pensioner-with-hidden-depths in his first acting role in a film he hasn’t directed since 1993. Growl.
Gran Torino is vintage Clint Eastwood at his best. From Dirty Harry to Million Dollar Baby, he’s made his signature character into an art form, a hypnotising, hardened beast of a human that you can’t take your eyes off, and yet one that’s never without redeeming qualities either. In this self-directed tale of a bigoted retiree coming to terms with his Asian neighbours in middle America, Eastwood gives us enough bad-ass attitude, along with poignant drama to stand Gran Torino alongside his earlier Oscar-winning efforts.