Major League: Back to the Minors
1998, PG-13, 97 min. Directed by John Warren. Starring Scott Bakula, Corbin Bernsen, Dennis Haysbert, Takaaki Ishibashi, Jensen Daggett, Eric Bruskotter, Bob Uecker, Ted McGinley.
REVIEWED By Marjorie Baumgarten, Fri., May 1, 1998
Back to the Minors… yeah, that sounds about right for this third installment in the Major League film franchise. This time out Tom Berenger has bailed, and so too Charlie Sheen. But perhaps most grievously, also on the missing list is Major League auteur David S. Ward (for it can now be said without a doubt that Ward was the one responsible for imbuing the series with any heart or team spirit. The Cleveland Indians have been traded in for the Minnesota Twins, but otherwise returning for duty are Corbin Bernsen, Dennis Haysbert (as the goofy voodoo ballplayer), Takaaki Ishibashi (as the goofy Japanese ballplayer) and Bob Uecker (as the goofy announcer). Scott Bakula, for his part, brings an easygoing charm to the proceedings, acting as though he's really comfortable with the project and not just marking time until another TV project comes along. Story-wise, it's the same old story. A minor-league pitcher whose arm is shot receives an offer to manage the Twins' Triple-A team. Of course, he doesn't snatch it right up because he has to think about the offer and whether or not he wants to stay in baseball (he has so many other opportunities). But of course he stays in the game and turns a band of inept misfits into a winning outfit (by making them believe in themselves). Then they have to test their mettle once again when the nutty major-league owner (McGinley) challenges them to a competition. Guess who wins. No surprises, no home runs, no outs, no one on base. Just another silly excuse to round the bases once more for a new crop of 10-year-old movie-going veterans.