Watch The Phenom
- 1 hr 30 min
The Phenom is a 2016 sports drama film, directed and written by Noah Buschel. The film features Johnny Simmons as Hopper Gibson, a young baseball player who is struggling with his game after a sudden loss of confidence. The film also stars Ethan Hawke as Hopper's abusive father and Paul Giamatti as Dr. Mobley, a sports psychologist who is trying to help Hopper get back on track. The movie opens with a series of flashbacks, showing Hopper as a young boy and his father Roy, who is coaching him. We see how Roy is overly aggressive towards Hopper, both physically and emotionally, forcing him to play baseball despite his lack of interest. Roy is a former ballplayer himself, who had to retire early after an injury, and he sees Hopper as his chance to live out his own dreams. Years later, Hopper is drafted into the Major Leagues, but his performance on the field is lackluster, and he's soon sent back down to the minors. He's unable to shake off the pressure of living up to his father's expectations and starts experiencing panic attacks whenever he steps on the field. He's sent to meet Dr. Mobley, who tries to get to the bottom of Hopper's issues. Through a series of sessions with Dr. Mobley, we learn about Hopper's troubled upbringing and how his relationship with his father has impacted his mental health. Dr. Mobley helps him confront his fears and deal with old traumas, leading him to a newfound sense of confidence. Meanwhile, Roy is trying to reconnect with his son, now that he's back in town. He's a recovering alcoholic and is eager to make amends, but Hopper is not ready to forgive him just yet. The two start to spend time together, and we see how Roy is just as insecure as his son, struggling with his own demons and trying to find his place in the world. The film builds up to Hopper's big comeback game, where he has to face his fears and prove himself on the field. It's a pivotal moment both for him and his father, who's watching from the stands, hoping for his son's success. The acting in the movie is top-notch, with both Simmons and Hawke delivering emotionally charged performances. Simmons is able to convey Hopper's vulnerability and inner turmoil, while Hawke shines in his role as the abusive Roy, showing a range of emotions, from anger to regret to vulnerability. Giamatti's portrayal of Dr. Mobley is also impressive, as he manages to bring depth and nuance to a character that could have easily become a caricature. He's the voice of reason in Hopper's life, pushing him to confront his demons and become a better person. The movie's pacing is slow but deliberate, allowing the characters to develop and the story to unfold at a natural pace. The use of flashbacks adds depth to the relationships between the characters, and we get a sense of the long-standing issues that have been brewing beneath the surface. Overall, The Phenom is a powerful film that explores the intersection of sports and personal struggles. It's a story that feels authentic and relatable, as it touches on themes of identity, family, and mental health. The movie doesn't shy away from the darker aspects of sports culture, but it also celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the power of personal transformation.