“The Perfect Game” is Not Perfect

Michael Skaf

“The Perfect Game,” is an inspirational true story about a little league baseball team from Mexico that faced all the odds to become the first ever foreign team to win the Little League World Series.

The movies starts off with Cesar Faz, played by Clifton Collins Jr. (“Brothers,” 2009), who is working for the St. Louis Cardinals in Major League Baseball. The beginning of the movie is shown with Faz talking with the owner of the Cardinals in his office. It seems that Faz was promised something and he never got that promise that was made to him when he joined on the staff. Although it is quite unclear what he was promised in the context of the conversation that was about one minute.

Faz leaves the cardinals and goes back to his hometown of Monterrey, Mexico originally where his parents are from. He works at a factory while in Monterrey. One year later he meets a young boy named Angel Macias played by (“Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie,” 2009) who is in love with baseball.

Faz tells Macias he used to coach for the Cardinals although this is an absolute lie because he was really a towel boy for the organization. Macias wants to start a Little League baseball and go to America to play after he saw that the Mexico City All Stars were going to the Little Leagues to play.

He first asks Padre Esteban, played by comedian Cheech Marin (“The Lion King,” 1994) who is the priests of their town. Although Esteban was teaching them about baseball he knew very little about the game and he told Macias to find some else.

He then asks Faz to be their coach who decides to do it. Macias and his three other friends begin to help Faz recruit players for their Little League team in Monterrey. Esteban became their spiritual leader on the team, saying prayers to the team before every game.

The players became so dedicated to the prayers that they wouldn’t go out onto the field to play unless they were read a passage from the Bible by a priest and prayed.

Once the team is formed they head to America where it is faced with racism and visa troubles, but goes on to make history to be the first international team to win the Little League World Series in 1957.

There is also an attempt at putting a love story in the middle of the movie but nothing ever happens with that. Faz is attracted to a local women in Monterrey named Maria, played by Patricia Manterola (“The Dukes of Hazzard: Hazzard in Hollywood,” 2000).

Although it never shows anything happen in the movie with their relationship, Faz and Maria do end up getting married in real life.

The film is directed by William Dear (“Angels in the Outfield,” 1994) and is a remake of the 1960 Mexican Documentary titled “The Little Giants.” This film however did not reach the commercial success.

The acting in this film is very well done. The emotions done by the actors are very real and most characters were of Latino descent which helped make it more realistic.

The movie jumps from scene to scene and has no transitions from each scene. It just seems that it is a whole bunch of scenes put together. Many of the scenes are pointless and nothing really happens in them.

Also the filming of the game play is terrible. It never really shows them playing. It just shows the bat hitting the ball but the player’s full body is not shown hitting the ball. It moves very quickly through each game as well.

Although at the beginning you do not truly understand why he left the Cardinals it later reveals in the movie that he was treated badly while with them. One example Faz talked about with Esteban was that when the team and all personnel people would sleep in the hotel they would make him sleep in the bus.

A great part about the movie that adds to the story is they show real footage throughout the movie of the real team in 1957. It really makes a connection as the real footage transitions to the acting part of the movie.

Although the way the movie setup is terrible the story line of the movie is excellent. It is a great, true inspirational story about an underdog team. It is a story of heart, courage, and making people believe.

“The Perfect Game” is not as good as other sports movies such as “The Blind Side,” starring Sandra Bullock but it is still a movie that at the end will inspire and motivate.

The movie is children friendly, except for some parts where racism is shown while the kids are in America. Other than that there are no moments where children would have to cover their eyes or close their ears.

It is rated PG and is 118 minutes long.

My rating: 3 out 5 stars.