The American movie watcher sure love their trilogies. Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Matrix, and Back to the Future have all made a hefty some of money. Star Wars has two trilogies, one good, one not so good. But for some reason everyone seems to forget about the Major League trilogy.
However, after viewing Major League III: Back to the Minors, I can safely say why people don’t stand up and take notice of this trio of movies more often: The third film sucked. Not that the first two were golden pieces of film history themselves, but they at least seceded in being a goofy fun movie about baseball. The only thing Major League seems to succeed at was providing HBO Comedy something fill up their 2am spot with.
Major League III stars Scott Bakula of Quantum Leap, and Ted McGinley of Married With Children. Now you may say, “Hey, I don’t remember either of these two ‘As Seen on TV’ actors being in either of the first two Major League movies!” Well my friend, not to worry, you are not suffering from some kind of terrible brain parasite that eats your memories, neither of them were. So why are they in this film? Because either A) the producers were too cheap to rehire most of the original actors, or B) they offered it to the original actors, but they were smart enough to turn it down (except for Charlie Sheen who was probably in rehab). Either way, this new cast results in a movie with a storyline about as enthralling as an episode Married with Children and as funny as an episode of Quantum Leap.
Oh, not to worry, some of the original actors came back. Who could forget such big name actors as Dennis Haysbert, Bob Uecker, Corbin Bernsen, Eric Bruskotter, Takaaki Ishibashi, and Steve Yeager. All of them household names of course. It’s never really explained how the characters playing these characters wound up in the Minors plaing for The Buzz. In one movie they’re on the American League Championship team, the next movie they’re all playing together on a struggling Minor League team. Roger Dorn, played for the Indians in the first film, owned the Indians in the second, and in the third somehow seems to own the Twins. Bob Uecker, who greatest acting job was on Mr. Belvedere, is now the play by play announcer for the Buzz, with no explanation of why he’s no longer the announcer for the Indians.
The new characters added to film add little. There’s a pitcher who solely depends on his fastball and talk like a surfer, a pitcher who throws extremely slow and might also be a doctor, an aging first baseman named Pops (kind of like Julio Franco, they’re both old, and they both suck) a kid named Downtown who… you know what it’s not worth the effort it takes for me to push the keys down on my keyboard to continue with these character descriptions.
I’ll give you a synopsis of the plot, but even if you’ve never seen the movie, and for your sake I hope you have not, I’m sure you can guess for the most part what it is. In short: Team sucks. New manager takes over team. Manager teaches team, using some unorthodox methods. Team gets better.
Now, to be fair, theirs a little more to the plot than that, like the rivalry between Bakula’s minor league manager character with McGinley’s Major league manager character and some other pointless filler, but you get the gist.
The Seinfeld theory is that comedies don’t need a great plot (or any plot) to be enjoyable, because the jokes themselves that carry the show. However, when your jokes include such lines as, “If he says Bigs again I’m going to pinch is head off,” and “And I thought you came here because you missed the sound of my voice.” you’re out of luck. The jokes in this film are not strong enough carry Nicole Richie if she were on the moon.
Of course this movie is eight years old so you may be wondering why in the world I even care. Well, because I care about those out there who may be one browsing the deep discount used video bin at Blockbuster and pick up this title and consider buying it. Let this be your warning, stay away.