Writer/director Ron Shelton returns to the world of professional sports to create another comedy-drama that tries to live up to the wit and style of his twin collaborations with Kevin Costner, Bull Durham (1988) and Tin Cup (1996). Unfortunately, Shelton's ham-handed script lacks the grace and cleverness of those earlier films, and the reductive plot and dialogue of Play It to the Bone are overloaded with the testosterone-fueled rivalry between Cesar (Antonio Banderas) and Vince (Woody Harrelson). This wouldn't be so troublesome if either of the two had anything as funny or insightful to say as the characters in Shelton's best work. Play It to the Bone even sinks to the mind-boggling lows of insipid anti-gay humor and a girl-on-girl catfight. Co-star Lolita Davidovich is the wife of Shelton and has starred in several of his films, including Blaze (1989) and Cobb (1994), but her talent is wasted here in an underwritten role as the "brains" of the outfit.
by Karl Williams review