This made-for-cable movie enshrining the accomplishments of child golf prodigy-turned-adult sports superstar Tiger Woods is a sketchy, speedily produced attempt to cash in on his white-hot status. From an early age, biracial Tiger (T.J. Hall) demonstrates an astonishing facility for golf, traditionally a stronghold of white athletes. Tiger's dad (Keith David) encourages the boy's athletic efforts, while his mom (Freda Foh Sen) provides spiritual guidance. When young white bullies provoke Tiger into throwing a golf club a course violation his parents advise him to obey the regulations and defeat his opponents at the next tournament. As Tiger matures, his parents disagree about how hard to push their son (Khalil Kain), now a student at Stanford University, but he consistently puts his game first, even after encountering derogatory graffiti at school. In 1992, threats of violence mar his professional debut at the Los Angeles Open. Through it all, Tiger is challenged by both the high standards he sets for himself and by the rigors of being a role model. At the 1997 Masters Tournament, underdog Tiger makes history as the youngest victor ever and the first African-American to win this prestigious event. His place in the record books assured, living legend Tiger continues to top his own achievements. Actor-turned-director Levar Burton directs this biopic with sensitivity and forthrightness, but Woods's success story doesn't pack much emotional wallop. Though intended as an inspirational tale, this reverent presentation dutifully chronicles the golfer's rise and rise, but the recreations of his triumphs can't match the impact of real-life footage of his triumphs. And while the film derives some power from Tiger's run-ins with prejudice, it doesn't capture the enormity of the personal sacrifices he made in pursuit of excellence. Worst of all, the flashback-heavy narrative structure is clumsily realized and undermines the story's momentum. Even admirers of Tiger Woods's indisputable talent will be hard put to get through the biopic cliches and E! Channel level insights.
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- Released: 1998
- Rating: PG-13
- Review: This made-for-cable movie enshrining the accomplishments of child golf prodigy-turned-adult sports superstar Tiger Woods is a sketchy, speedily produced attempt to cash in on his white-hot status. From an early age, biracial Tiger (T.J. Hall) demonstrates… (more)