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Movie Review: Bobby Jones – A Stroke of Genius

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This is not a bad movie. It’s not a great movie. It’s a safe, predicable good movie. If you never see the film, you’ll not miss the experience. If you see it, you’ll be amused for the two hours you spend on it then you will move on. There is little that is remarkable about this film.

The story they tell of Jones’ life is interesting and they play up portions of his life that many other biopics ignore. I greatly appreciate that director Rowdy Herrington went out of his way to show the work involved. This is something very rare in movies. Herrington concentrates on the huge amount of work and dedication Jones put in to get to the level he later attained. Jones’ childhood was spent working on his form and studying the moves. The common direction to see in biopics is we see the hero as a small child who is distinct from other kids because of some growing talent. The child hero then decides they want to follow this gift. We then have an act break and the child is all grown up and the hero is now already on their way to the big time. Watch Ray, Amadeus and other biopics for this format. This film shows the slow painful ascent of Jones. That is the most remarkable thing about this movie.

The acting is good but uninspired. That said, my favorite fake Jesus, Jim Caviezel, shows that he is a magnetic performer who can carry a whole film by himself. The only other stand out from the cast is Jeremy Northam as Jones’ American competitor Walter Hagen. Northam obviously had fun playing the role of this brash, yet self-destructive party animal.

It is difficult to recommend this film with any conviction. As I mentioned earlier, it is good but far from great. If you’re a fan of golf or sport films you will probably enjoy this one.

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