The Fan (1997)

Here’s three film ideas:

Gil (Robert De Niro) is a quick-to-anger knife salesman. Gil’s main passion is baseball, in particular the San Francisco Giants. A passion that seemingly overrides everything else. Fresh from divorce, he is a work shy employee and a terrible father to his son, who never fails to idolize him. When Gil loses his job, he begins to retreat into his love for the great American pastime. There’s potentially a film there.

Bobby Rayburn (Wesley Snipes) is the new star signing to the San Francisco Giants. His signing is somewhat controversial due to the large amount of money that’s been pushed his way. His ego’s as big as his talent, and it begins to show once he starts throwing his weight around. When an injury during his first game causes his performance to decline, Bobby is forced to take stock of where he is in life. There’s potentially a film there.

Or there’s the third option – Combine the two films together, then have Gil turn into a by-the-numbers, stock footage loony who becomes obsessed with Bobby. Then, halfway through the film you can crank up the Nine Inch Nails soundtrack, dispense with all attempts at subtlety and ride this overcooked turkey to the end.

Guess which film The Fan decided to be?

Overly long and trite, The Fan deserves for very little praise for the tired clichés it wheels out every few scenes. A suspension of disbelief usually goes hand in hand with these ‘stalker’ movies, but The Fan’s suspension of disbelief is the equivalent thinking that your bottom is blue and talks like Susan Boyle.

Whilst it is strangely watchable, it’s easy to see why The Fan never really took off in the 90s.

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