Oddly enough, it seems that almost everyone I talk to in my hometown of Thornwood, NY and its surrounding areas is interested in the sport of golf in one way or another. They either watch it on TV, go to watch live tournaments, personally know someone who plays the game, or play it themselves. Personally, I was never interested in it and don’t see myself becoming interested any time soon. Because of this, when it comes to films about golf, they aren’t my first choice. I actually don’t think I’ve ever even watched any since Adam Sandler’s Happy Gilmore. Until now, that is.
Terry Jastrow’s The Squeeze is the story of Augie (Jeremy Sumpter, Frailty, Into the Storm), a promising young golfer who has big dreams of playing at the U.S. Open and winning big in order to support his family. With an alcoholic abusive father and very little money, those dreams seem very far away, until a big time, professional gambler named Riverboat (Christopher McDonald, Happy Gilmore) presents an opportunity for Augie to start making some big money by simply doing what he does best, playing golf. When these big chance games take Augie to Las Vegas, however, he gets himself in too deep and is stuck between two big shots who have both promised to kill him, whether he wins the game or loses.
I was originally drawn to this film for the mere fact that it was categorized as a thriller; That is generally enough to get my initial attention. After officially watching The Squeeze, I wouldn’t necessarily classify it as a thriller, although it does feature one of the most tense poker game scenes I’ve ever seen with an amazing exchange between Christopher McDonald and Michael Nouri. In fact, these two veteran actors are the only reason this film has any kind of a dark side whatsoever. They are the perfect combination of cocky and intimidating, while also being rather comical when on screen. When McDonald and Nouri are together, the tension quickly builds and makes for a great time all around.
In addition to the outstanding portrayals of Riverboat and Jimmy Diamonds by Christopher McDonald and Michael Nouri, respectively, I was extremely impressed with the young Jeremy Sumpter who plays The Squeeze‘s main focus, Augie. Sumpter’s performance is very natural and his chemistry with co-stars Jillian Murray who plays his girlfriend, Natalie, and Rya Kihlstedt (The Atticus Institute) who is oddly not credited on IMDb as playing Augie’s mother, makes things even more impressive. Sumpter was the perfect choice to play the very talented, big dreaming, in-over-his-head Augie who is based on real life Texas-born golfer, Keith Flatt.
Like most films that are said to be based on true events, I’m sure a lot of the stuff seen throughout The Squeeze is exaggerated or sensationalized, but Terry Jastrow has managed to create an entertaining film, nonetheless. His writing and direction were flawless and I really had a great time with this one, even if it isn’t normal material considered for coverage on a website called Repulsive Reviews. In fact, I enjoyed this film a lot more than most of the recent horror flicks I’ve watched — It was easy to sit through, it held my attention, and it was a fun story to follow from start to finish.
If you need a break from your every day horror film marathons, give The Squeeze a shot. It’s an awesome film with great acting and superb writing. You will not be disappointed. The Squeeze is available now on DVD from Arc Entertainment.
I give this film 4 suitcases out of 5.