Review: The Squeeze

The Other Side of Golf

Golf is deep rooted in tradition, honor and integrity.  It is a game for gentleman and ladies to enjoy.  Its  time when we can get outside on well manicured grass, spend a Saturday afternoon with friends and hit the little white ball along the way.  That is the game for 90% of golfers.  But there is another side to the game that most of us are unfamiliar with.  Most of us can’t understand just how good the professionals and all the unsavory characters that lurk in the shadows of the game.  The Squeeze shows the other side of golf.

I’m not really a movie reviewer or critic.  I do watch movies, but purely from an entertainment stand point, not to critique the plot line or the character development or some other nuance of a movie.  So from that standpoint I was entertained, but it’s not a top 10 movie.

The Squeeze has one of the best opening 5 minutes of any movie I’ve ever watched. (minus the flash forward of the first 30 seconds) It was incredibly entertaining.  Golfer or non-golfer will enjoy the cross-country style game they played.  The 3 friends, Augie, Natalie and Tom John, start in the center of town and do whatever they can to get the ball onto the 6th green at the local golf course.  Natalie stole the show with her dive into a pool to retrieve her golf ball.

The real drama begins when Riverboat (played by Christopher McDonald famous for his role as Shooter McGavin) drives into town and start betting and offering money to Augie (played by Jeremy Sumpter).  This is the plot line that weaves its way all the way through the rest of the movie: The lure of easy money.  I’d rather not spoil the movie for you, so let me just say this: It’s based on a true story so it give authenticity to the plot.  The golfing scenes are the best of any golf movie I’ve seen.  Jeremy Sumpter has “game”.  Every time there were scene on the golf course, the movie shined.  The family drama creates reason, the Vegas life offers excitement, and the gambling scenes pushes the intensity.  While they all might have been very realistic, many of those scenes didn’t really do it for me.  I kept wanting to skip ahead to more golf.

Here are some quotes from some rather notable golfers.

  • Jack Nicklaus, 18-major championship wins: “…the golf elements are so real you actually believe it could happen.”
  • Tom Watson, 8-major championship wins: “Director Terry Jastrow injects reality into the scenes that golfers will find both familiar and believable, which has been sadly lacking in all previous golf movies.”
  • Phil Mickelson, 5-major championship wins: “THE SQUEEZE is a wonderful golf movie because it’s so authentic. It hooks you in the beginning and stays interesting and entertaining right to the end.”
  • Steve Wynn, Chairman, Wynn Resorts: “THE SQUEEZE has the best poker scene I’ve ever seen in a movie. If you like gambling, golf and Las Vegas, you’ll love this movie.”

I think these professional golfers are part of that “other side.”  They maybe have placed big wagers on their play or might have had large sums of money wagered on their golf game.  For them it isn’t too far fetched from real life.  For me, seems as unlikely as making a hole-in-one on a par 5.

I was entertained by this movie and saw the other side of golf that I was unfamiliar with.  It isn’t a family friendly movie, so if you have a young golfer in the house, this isn’t a movie for them.  I really enjoyed the opening scenes and found the ending to be a surprise, but at parts in the middle, I can’t say I really liked the “other side of golf.”  The reality of this movie is that golfers, non-golfers, gamblers, or non-gamblers can join together in watching The Squeeze to see the other side of golf.

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