Fan, The
R
Entertainment: +2 1/2
Acceptability: -3

The word "fan" is short for "fanatic," an appropriate description of the title character in this suspense thriller. Gil Renard (Robert De Niro) is consumed by his interest in baseball, particularly his beloved San Francisco Giants. With his marriage already destroyed, Gil jeopardizes his job as a hunting knife salesman and his relationship with his son to attend the Opening Day game. When his life falls apart, Renard focuses his attention on struggling superstar outfielder Bobby Rayburn (Wesley Snipes). Signed to a lucrative contract to join the Giants, Rayburn hasn't lived up to expectations. An injury has limited his hits, and the superstitious Rayburn is upset that he can't get his favorite uniform number, already worn by talented teammate Juan Primo (Benico Del Toro). A conversation with Rayburn via a radio call-in show convinces Renard to do something about this situation, with deadly consequences. When Rayburn fails to properly show his gratitude, at least in Gil's twisted mind, the fan decides to take this relationship with his favorite player to a higher and more dangerous level. THE FAN offers De Niro another opportunity to play a creepy role, but his performance is uninteresting and lacks depth. There are few surprises or thrills in the predictable story. Baseball fans will also be upset by many instances where this cinematic version of the game is unrealistic.

Renard is an especially loathsome character, so single-minded that he lashes out at everyone who gets in his way with foul language and threats. The egotistical Rayburn isn't a very heroic counterpoint, although he does come to realize that some things are more important than his batting average. Violent acts include a man hit in the head with a baseball bat and two stabbing incidents, one that is very bloody. A man is also killed with multiple bullet wounds. Offensive language is constant and spoken by several characters, with 120 obscenities, including 87 f-words, many crudities and nine regular profanities. A scene in a bar adds the totally unnecessary presence of scantily clad female dancers. This baseball movie strikes out for true fans of the game, and its violence and a bombardment of offensive language are particularly foul.

Preview Reviewer: Mark Perry
Distributor: TriStar Pictures, 10202 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232

Summary
Crude Language: Many (20) times - Mild 6, Moderate 14
Obscene Language: Many (120) times - F-word 87, s-word 27, other 6
Profanity: Many (11) times - Regular 9 (J-C 5, G-d 2, J 2), Exclamatory 2
Violence: Many times - Moderate and Severe (pushing and shoving; fistfight; man threatens with a bat; knife wound shown, very bloody; boy kidnapped; man hit in head with bat; man stabbed; man shot several times)
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None; Near nudity (scantily clad dancers in bar)
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Unmarried couple wakes up in bed together
Drug Abuse: Smoking, alcohol drinking, athlete injected with pain killer to play through injury
Other:
Running Time: Unknown
Intended Audience: Adults

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