Well into his thirties, Jim Morris (Dennis Quaid) becomes a 'rookie', or newcomer to major league baseball.


The Rookie refers to Jim Morris, Dennis Quaid, who well into this thirties became a 'rookie', or newcomer to major league baseball. As a child, moving around the country with his family, (his father, Brian Cox, was in naval recruiting), Jim never stopped pitching fastballs, he loved baseball. Ending up in Big Lake Texas where football was the dominant sport, Jim became a science teacher and baseball coach. But he never lost the passion and often at night, out in the desert, he pitches into the darkness, watched by his adoring young son Hunter, the very cute Angus T. Jones. Jim is pitching faster than he ever has before and when his team discovers this they strike a deal after they lose humiliatingly; if they make it to the state finals he has to try again for the major league. Well, I don't know there will be many surprises in the narrative arc of the film, but there's less schmaltz than you would expect. Dennis Quaid is excellent as Morris, what an under-appreciated actor he is, and Rachel Griffiths balances him nicely, working against stereotype as his wife. The director John Lee Hancock aims for a leisurely pace, maybe too leisurely because the film is too long, but The Rookie is basically an enjoyable, heartwarming film about going for your dreams and the value of community. It doesn't romanticise the achievement and thankfully it isn't cloyingly sentimental.