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everybody's hero
Click for full sized poster

Everyone's Hero

Starring William H. Macy, Rob Reiner, Brian Dennehy, Raven Symone, Mandy Patinkin, Richard Kind, Jake T, Austin, Forest Whitaker and Whoopi Goldberg
Screenplay by Robert Kurtz and Jeff Hand
Based on a story by Howard Jonas
Directed by Christopher Reeve

IN SHORT: Family flick for those with the smaller kidlets. [Rated G. 85 minutes]

For years and years and years the Great American Game was baseball. In its finest years, said game was dominated by a team whose roster included names such as Gehrig and Ruth. Yep, the New York Yankees. Cranky's home team. Loser of the 1964 World Series (to the Cardinals) -- Cranky's first. That's why I'm a Mets fan <vbg> but, with the arrogance of any New Yorker, we'll root root root for the home team.

Christopher Reeve's last project is Everyone's Hero, a film that works well on the one dimension that will make it a good sit for little kids and a fairly OK ones for their parental units. From the perspective of this childless toonhead, there isn't enough here to get us to tell y'all to lay down the ten spot but if you got kids to lug to a theater, you'll come out on top. Uncles, pay attention!

Everyone's Hero is set in 1932. Depression raging. Jobs hard to find. Baseball fans eagerly anticipating the coming World Series between the New York Yankees and the Chicago Cubs. Yankee Irving (Jake T. Austin), an undersized ten year old does his best to keep up with the other kids in the neighborhood but he's always last pick for the sand lot baseball game. He's always last pick because he's scrawny and doesn't listen when he's told not to swing 'cuz he's got no strike zone. We know the feeling. Still, Yankee finds a lost baseball under a junked car. The ball talks to him. The ball is named Screwie (Rob Reiner). Just go with it.

Yankee's dad (Mandy Patinkin) works for the New York Yankees. He makes the mistake of taking his son into the clubhouse and leaving him alone for a minute or two. Lurking in the shadows is Lefty Maginnis (William H. Macy), agent of the Cubs, sent to steal Babe Ruth's (Brian Dennehy) beloved bat "Darlin'" (Whoopi Goldberg). Yes, he succeeds. Yes, Dad is blamed and loses his job. Yes, Yankee goes off in search of the foul thief. That means a trip to the railroad station and not much more -- the kid is only ten -- but much more always happens and wouldn't you know it? Yankee is on the train with the purloined piece of wood. Once he gets Darlin' back, Everyone's Hero becomes a story of "get the bat back to Babe -- now in Chicago for the Seventh Game -- and avoid Lefty, who is hunting them down.

Along the way, the very luck boy meets friendly hoboes (including Richard Kind, best known for his supporting role on teevee's Mad About You) and finds shelter in the home of Lonnie Brewster (Forest Whitaker) a star of the Negro Leagues, whose daughter Marti (Raven Symone) has befriended our Hero. Brewster lends a hand, and a ride on the team bus towards Chicago while the film avoids any preaching about segregation. We give extra points for that. Any parent with an observant child will probably have to do the explaining after the fact.

What happens in Chicago, at the Seventh Game, made us shudder. Not manager Joe Torre's cameo, mind you. Then again, Cranky's a grown up. What happens in Chicago, at the Seventh Game, is aimed at the kidlets you should be lugging into a cineplex near you.

We don't put Dollar Ratings on most family films since they'll see endless reruns on your television screens. Still, if your kids are in the demographic we described and you're reeady for a family friendly event, which Everyone's Hero falls into, spend the money on the big screen experience.

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The Cranky Critic website is Copyright © 1995  -  2017  by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.