Review: ‘The Squeeze’ golf-and-gambling caper tees off into a sand trap

‘The Squeeze’
Scene from the movie “The Squeeze.”

The modest golf-and-gambling caper “The Squeeze” tees itself up for B-movie pleasures, only to replace charm with cookie-cutter.

Writer-director Terry Jastrow introduces his small-town hero Augie (Jeremy Sumpter) — a young Southern golf prodigy with U.S. Open dreams, an insouciant sense of humor and a broken home life to escape — as if “Cocktail"-era Tom Cruise were still the ideal leading-man mold, and Sumpter is engaging enough to make it work.

Even the first slather of hokum — the elegantly attired professional gambler Riverboat (an especially oily Christopher McDonald) and his coquettish wife (Katherine LaNasa), who lure Augie into a run of golf course hustles throughout the South — carries fleeting moments. But when it leads to a high stakes bet against a sour Las Vegas gangster (Michael Nouri) who doesn’t like to lose, “The Squeeze” hits a sand trap.

Augie’s girlfriend (Jillian Murray), a sexy, cutoffs-wearing Bible thumper with attitude, fears her dude’s fast-money temptations will lead him straight to hell. No, just a limbo of lost-soul clichés, win-or-die preposterousness and plot cheats to make any aficionado of Big Match movies roll the eyes. Between plot and character, there are definitely 18 holes in “The Squeeze.”



‘The Squeeze’

MPAA rating: PG-13 for sexuality, language, drug material, thematic elements.

Running time: 1 hour, 35 minutes.


Playing: Laemmle’s Playhouse 7, Pasadena.

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