The Fan (1996)

The first hour is exciting.  Before his character ever draws blood, 
Robert De Niro cuts a chilling figure as an edgy knife salesman (!) 
whose life is increasingly in shambles.  He can't make the numbers 
at work, his ex-wife is threatening him with a restraining order, 
and, now, his favorite baseball team's expensive new addition 
(Wesley Snipes) is hitting his first slump.  What's a psychotic fan 
to do?  In these expertly shot early scenes, director Tony Scott 
(CRIMSON TIDE, TOP GUN) generates tension in the most unlikely of 
places.  Who else would film a car-phone conversation like a high-
speed chase?  About the time that De Niro's character gets down to 
business, though, the suspense starts seeping away.  Major dramatic 
events happen, but they don't register.  Plausibility wanes, 
tension fades, and, finally, we're left holding the umbrella during 
one howler of a rain-soaked night game.  The finale is so bad-- so 
jaw-dropping awful-- that even Marge Schott might be at a loss for 
words.  Other umpires might call it differently, but I say THE FAN 
is *out*!  (Rated "R"/115 min.)

Grade: C-

Copyright 1996 by Michael J. Legeros

Originally posted to triangle.movies in MOVIE HELL: August 18, 1996

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