Bernie Mac, Angela Bassett
Amiably gruff and unpretentious, Bernie Mac, who already has his own sitcom on FOX, has been a dependably welcome face in a string of supporting movie parts (I can't even hold Charlie's Angels 2 against him). But it will take another picture before anyone can size up his ability to be an out-and-out star. It's impossible to tell much of anything from Mr. 3000, a movie that shows real talent—directed by Charles Stone III (Drumline), it looks great, with a vibrant palette of stadium greens and blues—but no coherence. The laughs and dramatic moments come small and quick. It's like sitting through a night of bunts.
Mac plays Ross, an arrogant first baseman who quits the major leagues as soon as he reaches the fabled benchmark of 3,000 hits. Nine years later, in his late 40s and yet to be voted into the Hall of Fame—too much 'tude—he suddenly learns he's still three hits shy of the record because of a statistical error. He returns to the game, determined to make up the difference. Ross is credibly good whether sulking, gloating or weathering humiliation, but there's nothing larger than life about him. He's a real man, not a legend. Bassett, as a TV sports correspondent and former flame, shows up from time to time, giving off tight shivers of rage or arousal. Mac probably could have benefited from playing opposite someone less intense. (PG-13)