Legend of Bagger Vance, The

Rated 2.0 An embittered World War I vet (Matt Damon) regains his golfing prowess, his self-respect and his sweetheart (Charlize Theron) with the help of a wise caddy (Will Smith). Written by Jeremy Leven (from Steven Pressfield’s novel) and directed with lugubrious solemnity by Robert Redford, the film is—if such a thing is possible—even sillier than it sounds. Golf doesn’t make a very good metaphor for life, and it’s not nearly as popular as most golfers think it is—as a spectator sport, it’s about as exciting as watching celery grow. The actors speak with moonlight-and-magnolias accents, but their characters are strictly cornpone and molasses. They’re not people, just pretentious symbols—especially Smith, batting his eyes and grinning through his homespun homilies: Uncle Remus on the fairway.