A sports agent goes to India to find the next baseball star.
Million Dollar Arm is a rather sweet tale, based on the true story of Rinku Singh and Dinest Patel - two Indian kids who had never held a baseball before in their lives when they beat out 37,000 competitors in a reality TV show to earn $100,000 and a chance to play in America.
Here's some actual footage of the real life sportsmen.
It's definitely an incredible journey and director Craig Gillespie really throws us into the crowded world of summer-time India with his on location photography. It's heady and fun and brings a layer of real world connection which aspirational sports movies rarely manage to create.
It's all grand, aided by a light performance from Jon Hamm and some breeziness courtesy of Alan Arkin - who could literally play this role in his sleep and might well actually be doing that here. When the film switches back to American soil, the pace takes a dip and the film can't really seem to decide which story it most wants to pursue - that of Hamm or the kids played by Life of Pi's Suraj Sharma and Slumdog Millionaire's Madhur Mittal.
Ultimately, the film sides with Hamm (maybe for obvious reasons) and his quest for some humanity as well as a relationship with tacked on kook Lake Bell. It's a shame because the real story here is the two kids plucked from obscurity and poverty and thrown into a totally crazy world. They're given little enough to do, making the film feel fairly weightless in the final analysis.
Still there's some authentically thrumming music from Slumdog's A.R. Rahman, fine lensing by Gyula Pados and a nice tale that's suitable for all ages.