A baseball player returns home to confront his abusive stepfather in Brett Bentman’s powerful drama 90 Feet From Home. Check out our review.
When the film 90 Feet From Home landed on our desk we thought we were in for a feel-good experience in the mold of some previous greats based around the subject of America’s favorite past time, like Field of Dreams, Moneyball and (a personal favorite from my childhood) Major League. Instead, we were treated to a hard-hitting and powerful movie, directed well by Brett Bentman and starring some familiar faces.
Split into two distinct parts, we follow the life of Scott (Chase Pollock) a teenager who dreams of becoming, and has the skills to be, a professional baseball player. His life is far from being rainbows and sunbeams though, due to the abuse he receives, both physically and mentally, from his drunk stepfather James, played by WWE legend Shawn Michaels. Even though Scott also lives with his mother and a brother called Tommy, he seems to be the only one targeted by James.
The second half sees a grown-up Scott (this time played by Adam Hampton) return home to face the man who caused him so much harm after playing in the Major Leagues and having his career cut short. His brother Tommy is now a successful police officer and his mother, who often ignored her son’s abuse, mostly through fear, has died.
As stated, this isn’t a cheerful two hours viewing, but it is a very well-made movie, thanks to Brett Bentman’s skilled direction and writing (alongside writing partner Scott Davis). The cast all put in excellent work and you will notice some of the characters are portrayed by some veterans of the screen like Eric Roberts (The Dark Knight) and Dean Cain (Lois and Clark).
Shawn Michaels does an incredible job as the drunk James. It was obvious that the guy already had acting skills, as most wrestlers do need a certain amount of talent to do what they do in professional wrestling. Obviously, they don’t need to be on the same level as the Gary Oldman’s and Daniel Day-Lewis’ of this world, but they still need to portray a persona for the millions who watch them every week. Here, the Heartbreak Kid is utterly convincing as the abusive stepfather who makes the audience despise is every being. With quite a few wrestlers hanging up the trunks in order to carve out careers in films, like Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Dave Bautista, and John Cena, it will be interesting to see how far Michaels can go. On the back of this performance, he could very well move on to some massive projects.
90 Feet From Home is an independent film with high production values, top performances and a story that hits harder than one of Shawn Michael’s Sweet Chin Music kicks to the face. Highly recommended.