The Squeeze Movie Review: Golf, Gambling, and Vegas
05 Mar 2015
by Pete Wlodkowski of AmateurGolf.com

see also: Equipment Reviews

Things start to get interesting, in the new movie "The Squeeze" when a flamboyant character named "Riverboat" enters the scene. Riverboat is a gambler, and after hearing about the exploits of an unknown Texas golfer shooting 65-63 to win a rural city championship by 15 shots, he senses opportunity. The main character, Augie, isn't hard to find, and is quickly drawn in by the opportunity to make some "cash money." The bets and characters get bigger and shadier as the plot progresses.

At first I couldn't place the actor playing Riverboat, but soon realized it was Christopher McDonald, who played the PGA Tour player Shooter McGavin, forever frustrated by Adam Sandler's hockey stick shooting ace in "Happy Gilmore." It would have been really cool if "The Squeeze" was written as a "Happy Gilmore" sequel, with Shooter playing an older version of himself, the same way Paul Newman's Fast Eddie Felson did in the pool hall classic "The Color of Money" (a sequel to "The Hustler" with Tom Cruise as the pool shark).

No matter. Avid golfers tend to see all the golf movies (it's our responsibility, isn't it?) and will likely make the connection with McDonald's original golf character. It gives "The Squeeze" a bit of a nostalgic flair.

The movie, written and directed by famed ABC Sports producer Terry Jastrow, involves golf, gambling, and a predicament that gives the movie its name. Having produced 68 major championships, Jastrow gave the film authenticity by using actors that can play -- the lead Jeremy Sumpter carries a +1.1 index -- and using golf courses that improve with the stakes.

As for the courses, and the cinematography -- they are both excellent. The swings are good; the course scenes at sunset (there are lots of those) make for really nice backdrops. That's especially true for the part of the movie that takes place in Las Vegas, where the golf is played at the famous Wynn Resort. When some of the first shots are launched, the arc of the ball against the golden Wynn hotel is really stunning (a bit overused, as they repeat it a few times, but stunning nonetheless).

And the conditions look so pristine that I immediately added the Wynn Resort to my bucket list, the same way I did Cypress Point after reading "The Match."

"The Squeeze" is story that keeps you guessing, and one that is filled with little twists and turns that lead their way into the inevitable, a life and death golf match. If you love golf, gambling, and a good caper, I think you'll enjoy it.


Available in Theaters, VOD and iTunes: April 17, 2015

Cast: Jeremy Sumpter, Christopher McDonald, Jillian Murray, Michael Nouri, Jason Dohring, Katherine LaNasa

Directed by: Terry Jastrow

Written by: Terry Jastrow

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