The Squeeze – A Fun Golf Movie

Jun 21, 2015 by

The Squeeze – A Fun Golf Movie

Golf movies have run the gamut of themes throughout the years.  The frat-house romp of ‘Caddyshack’, an endearing broken-down tour pro in ‘Tin Cup’ and the search for inner peace through birdies with ‘Seven Days in Utopia’.  ‘The Squeeze‘ opens a new dimension to golf film; one that puts the game in the middle of a man’s struggle to better his life while balancing a difficult choice.

The basic premise is set that local boy-wonder Augie Baccus (Jeremy Sumpter) sets his local municipal course record on fire and is a bit of a local legend.  When word gets to Riverboat (Christopher MacDonald), he convinces Baccus to join him in Las Vegas to hustle for big money games.  Augie has reason to run, having to take care of his family after running his destructive father from thefamily home. After a successful run in Vegas, Baccus is left with a catch-22:  After being threatened by a local mob boss that he will be murdered if he wins a high-stakes match, he is equally threatened of death by Riverboat if he loses.  All the while he is counseled by his supportive but wary girlfriend, Natalie.

The film does not hide it’s Christian themes, and comes off a bit heavy-handed at times to establish good and evil.  Riverboat (if the name weren’t enough), is further demonized in the film by stealing money from a church donation plate.  Natalie, at times, appears as if she serves as Augie’s vocal conscious, questioning moves and motives.  On more than one occasion, Augie looks better adept at playing golf than at analyzing life-altering situations.  The film really shines in the golf action scenes, and felt more like a rushed story wrapped around carefully cureated golf scenes.  The action in Las Vegas is shot at the Wynn, and are visually stunning.  If you’re a fan of golf on film, many of the scenes will feel like you’re watching professional match play tournament.

The story itself reminds me a bit of ‘The Color of Money’, but at times the fact that golf is Augie’s chosen talent can be tough to believe.  As a working class hero, Augie comes across slightly lackadaisical in these big decisions, and at times seems to lack the mental acuity required to be involved in high stakes Vegas matches.  But, at times, it is the one thing that makes the film believable.  An out of this world talent, with a minor lack of self-awareness, simply plays golf.  The apex of the film, shot in dark vs. light tones, was an effective illustration of good against evil.

The Squeeze is an interesting golf film, both based in fact and explored through elements of fiction.  At times, it is heavy-handed in its faith-based message, but is worth checking out if you enjoy golf movies.  For more information and to buy a DVD, see http://thesqueezemovie.com/

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