Gus (Eastwood) is an icon among baseball talent scouts, but his eyesight is failing him, the suits are starting to doubt him and his daughter Mickey (Adams) doesn’t even really know him. Will he let her in and survive the cut?
The same, sadly, can’t be said for Justin Timberlake and Amy Adams’ flaccid romance, both irritating and startlingly spark-free. She is Eastwood’s estranged daughter. He is one of Eastwood’s old protégés. He has a dodgy shoulder, she has a dodgy brain. Both appear to be fixed by a midnight skinny-dip that has the erotic intensity of a cheese sandwich. Each, individually, are gifted performers — Adams especially, who goes toe-to-toe with Clint and nearly nicks it — but they fail to connect.
To be fair, they aren’t helped by having the weakest part of a script that otherwise has interesting things to say. An inverse Moneyball, Trouble is firmly in the camp of trusting instincts over spreadsheets and has great fun pitching Eastwood and John Goodman’s old guard against the unctuous younger generation of oily suits as represented by Matthew Lillard — always a wonderful baddie — who tries to replace their gifts of touch and feel with his equations and stats.
Is it, as some have claimed, Eastwood’s last movie before retiring from in front of the camera? Only he knows for sure, although look out for a scene in which he has a heart-to-heart with one of his players and tells him that what really matters in this crazy world is... family. And then consider that the person he’s addressing is played by Eastwood’s son, Scott.
You’ll know exactly where it’s going, but it still has Clint doing full-on-cranky and is a fun finger-up at corporate suits the world over.
Reviewed by Mark Dinning