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"THE FAN"
(1996) (Wesley Snipes, Robert DeNiro) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None Mild Moderate Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Mild Moderate Heavy Mild Heavy


QUICK TAKE:
Suspense: A baseball fan becomes obsessed with the life and career of his team's newest player.
PLOT:
Gil Renard (ROBERT DeNIRO) is a knife salesman whose career is going down the tubes due to his abrasive and often violent approach to his work. He also has an obsession with baseball that often interferes with his work and with his relationship to Rich, his son who lives with his mother. Gil's newest focus is on Bobby Rayburn (WESLEY SNIPES), the new $40 million dollar superstar of the San Francisco Giants. Gil is such a baseball fanatic that he remembers Bobby from the city championship years ago and has all kinds of newspaper clippings about Bobby and even buys a model Humvee after Bobby's real sized one. Gil often gets the chance to talk to Bobby through a radio show hosted by Jewel Stern (ELLEN BARKIN), who would love to persuade Rayburn's agent, Manny (JOHN LEGUIZAMO) to allow her to do a one on one interview with Rayburn. Once the superstar status begins to wear off, Rayburn enters a long, drawn out batting slump where Gil is the only fan who still supports him. Gil decides to take matters into his own, violent hands to help Rayburn overcome Juan Primo, a new superstar on the team. From then on, Gil becomes more obsessed with Rayburn, learns that he isn't the great man he thought he was, and kidnaps Rayburn's son to force the player to thank him for his lifelong fanaticism of the game.
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they like baseball or stalker type thrillers, they will.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For strong language throughout and some intense violence.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • ROBERT DeNIRO plays the perfectionist so obsessed with the game that he risks everything important to him just to be near his team's newest player.
  • WESLEY SNIPES plays a conceited, self-centered player.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    OUR TAKE: 6 out of 10
    The movie starts out as an interesting character piece with DeNiro playing one of his trademark "cork ready to pop" characters that are always fun to watch. But once popped, we lose interest as his character goes too far over the edge and just becomes another two dimensional, crazy and dangerous stalker. Snipes is fairly good but isn't given a great deal to work with and the direction (by Tony Scott of "Crimson Tide," and "Top Gun") just doesn't have that special spark Scott usually produces. We'd give the first half a higher grade, but overall the film, with its ridiculous ending, gets just a 6 out of 10.
    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    This is pretty much a stalker film that turns violent from the middle through to the end. There's extreme profanity and a good amount of violence. What will probably be disturbing to some kids are the domestic issues (which disappear midway through the movie) revolving around Gil and his son with the mother screaming and panicky whenever Gil shows up. Also Gil's obsessive and perfectionist behavior may have some kids worried that their parents might turn into someone like Gil. As always, read through the scene listings before considering whether your child should see this movie.

    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • A man is seen drinking a beer at a barbeque.
  • Bobby meets Jewel at a bar and both of them have mixed drinks.
  • Gil drinks a beer at a strip club.
  • Manny asks Bobby, "What happened to pouring champagne over your head and banging some groupies?"
  • Gil and Bobby have several beers after Gil has saved Bobby's son.
  • Gil's childhood friend and little league teammate, Coop, drinks a beer.
  • BLOOD/ GORE
  • A large needle is injected into Bobby's side to help his bruised ribs.
  • After fighting with Primo (see "Violence") Gil has a bloody nose and Primo has a large knife sticking out of his leg from which lots of blood is spurting.
  • Bobby opens his freezer door (after Gil's told him to) and finds a cut out piece of skin that used to reside on Juan Primo's shoulder.
  • Coop (an old friend of Gil's) helps Bobby's son escape. Gil then comes up to him and bashes him with a baseball bat until he's quite bloody.
  • Gil is very bloody after being shot many times by the police.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Gil refers to Jewel as a "bitch," and Manny calls her a "castrating ball buster."
  • Gil pushes his son out of the way and steps on his foot as he tries to catch a ball at a game.
  • Gil leaves his young son at the game by himself and goes to try and sell more knives to a client.
  • Manny wants to use a kid's death from cancer as a good public relations ploy for Bobby who isn't crazy about the idea.
  • Gil kidnaps Bobby's son (although he's told the boy that they're going fishing so he isn't scared at all).
  • FRIGHTENING/TENSE SCENES
  • Several of the scenes listed under "Violence" are somewhat tense.
  • Rayburn's son goes out into the ocean, and distracted by his dog, falls from his board and begins to drown. Gil races out and ends up saving the boy.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Knives: Often seen and held by many people and used by Gil in violent ways. For details see "Imitative Behavior" and "Violence."
  • Handguns: Used by the police to shoot Gil many times.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Manny gives the international hand gesture for male masturbation.
  • Gil demonstrates his knives' sharpness by running them down his arm or leg slicing off the hairs on them.
  • Gil's son plays with a knife while watching a ball game.
  • Gil and Bobby's son have pictures taken of them with large knives between their teeth.
  • Phrases: "Screwed up," "Stupid," "Bonehead," "Bitch," "Piss," and "You suck."
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A few scenes have mild to moderate tense music, but not nearly as much as one would think would be in a film such as this.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • A song heard twice contains several uses of the "f" word (used sexually) and has the phrase "I want to taste you."
  • PROFANITY
  • 87 "f" words (5 used sexually, 5 with the prefix "mother"), 25 "s" words, 11 "ass" words, 2 slang terms for male genitals (the "d" word) and 1 term for female genitals (the "p" word), 5 hells, 3 damns, 2 craps 1 SOB, and 6 uses of "Jesus" or "Jesus Christ," 2 uses of "God damn," and 1 use each of "Oh my God" "Swear to God," and "For God's sake" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Jewel, perturbed with Manny, says to him, "Blow me." He replies, "I would, but you haven't had your shots." Later Manny tells her that Bobby "would rather nail his penis to a burning building than talk to you."
  • A surveillance manger watches a woman's breasts on a closed circuit TV monitor.
  • Gil's son tells him that a friend's father says that Mick Jagger (of the Rolling Stones) is gay. Gil replies that his friend's father "takes it up the ass."
  • Women in skimpy outfits are seen dancing in a strip joint but no nudity or sexual gyrating is seen.
  • Manny asks Bobby, "What happened to pouring champagne over your head and banging some groupies?"
  • SMOKING
  • Both Jewel and Manny are often seen smoking cigarettes.
  • Several baseball players are seen spitting out chewing tobacco (but are never seen placing it in their mouths.)
  • People are seen smoking in a knife company meeting.
  • People smoke in a strip joint.
  • Coop, an old friend of Gil's, smokes a cigarette.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Gil goes and picks up his son to go to the opening day game. His wife (divorced) isn't happy about this, and tells Gil that if he doesn't have Rich back by six o'clock, she'll call the cops.
  • Gil returns to his ex-wife's house and finds that someone brought Rich home after Gil had disappeared at the game (when he left to sell knives). His ex is very upset and she says that Rich is also upset. Gil makes amends with Rich by offering him pizza and pop. Later Gil is given a restraining order to stay away from the boy.
  • Gil goes to help Rich at batting practice but his ex-wife races out and pulls Rich away. They argue and Rich, crying, tells his dad his dad that he had better go.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • A little boy seen in a hospital is dying of cancer and is bald (Bobby goes to visit him), and later we learn the boy slipped into a coma.
  • Obsessive behavior of any kind.
  • Whether a parent, who wants their child or what he/she does to be perfect, will turn out to be like Gil.
  • VIOLENCE
  • The knife company manager takes a knife, and to show its cheap quality, repeatedly stabs it into a car door through which it cannot penetrate.
  • Gil pushes his son out of the way and steps on his foot as he tries to catch a ball at the game.
  • A man sitting behind Gil tells him to sit down and they get into a little bit of a shoving match but it ends as quickly as it began.
  • Gil goes to his ex-wife's to see Rich and pushes his way past her and her boyfriend to go into his son's room.
  • Gil threatens Tim (the ex-wife's boyfriend) with a baseball bat during little league practice.
  • Gil sees a bug crawling on a door and throws a large knife at it. The bug is killed and the knife goes half way through the door.
  • Gil's old boss comes out to his car to find a knife stabbed in the hood with lots of other stab marks around it.
  • There's a fight in a bathroom between Bobby and Juan Primo, the new hot player on the team. It's quickly broken up.
  • Gil attacks Juan Primo in the sauna and it appears that Primo has won as he kicks Gil backwards (who has a bloody nose). However, it's then seen that Primo has a large knife stuck in his leg, from which copious amounts of blood squirts out, and he then lies down and slowly dies.
  • After learning that Bobby is in the game for himself, Gil pitches a ball right at his head.
  • Gil kidnaps Bobby's son (although he tells him they're going fishing so the boy isn't scared at all).
  • Gil tells Bobby that he'll hurt and/or kill his son if he doesn't hit a home run for him (or if the opposing pitcher takes it easy on him).
  • Coop (an old friend of Gil's) helps Bobby's son escape. Gil them comes up to him and bashes him with a baseball bat until he's quite bloody.
  • Bobby, realizing that the ump is Gil, slugs him in the face and the players run out onto the field. Gil stabs Bobby and then stabs and kills another player. The police have Gil surrounded but Bobby won't let them shoot because only Gil knows where Bobby's son is. Gil then goes to the pitcher's mound and winds up to throw his knife at Bobby. When he finally does, the police riddle his body with bullets, killing him.



  • Reviewed August 16, 1996

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