Ferrell Takes the Field full movie review - Everything you'd expect it would be
While watching something else (on HBO probably), I came across the advertising for "Ferrell Takes the Field" in which they explain the rather simple premise and the reasoning
behind it; Will Ferrell (as himself) will basically spend one day running, driving and flying around Arizona (during the MLB Spring League season)and playing every position on the field (and then some) for 10 different teams. The motivation behind this decision goes back to his love of baseball and a certain beloved player, Bert Campaneris, who managed to pull this feat off with one team back in 1965. Furthermore, the money raised from this "documentary-style" presentation is earmarked for charity, more specifically a cancer research charity which was started by one of Ferrell long-term friends and old fraternity brother from USC, who at one time was possibly considered as pro baseball prospect, but ever since his own personal battle with cancer (which has turned into a lifelong battle), he had to give up on that dream.
What ensues is classic Ferrell doing his trademark overstated and somewhat obnoxious comedy and a presentation that depending on one's own feelings about the comedian, and/or his brand of comedy, you will likely either walk away from this in hysterics or with complete and total disdain. The jokes are in the style of essentially a situation comedy with baseball as the background and while some of Ferrell's comedic offerings in this piece fall flat, he does fully commit to this with the same fervor that he puts into everything else, and you likely will recognize some of his mannerisms, sarcasm and over-the-top foolishness from essentially many of the past films and/or skits and characters that he has played in the past.
Unlike the two other reviewers of this so far, I enjoyed this, laughed immensely at times and had a good laugh, and while never at any point was I thinking this was his best work, it was certainly entertaining (in the way that you might find someone making a mockery of something funny, i.e.-somewhat obnoxious and exaggerated) and probably more important than anything else was the fact that the length of this was appropriately short (42 mins, I believe). The camera work, editing and Ferrell's characterization was everything you would expect from a Ferrell performance, and while you can clearly see some of the baseball players agitation with this kind of project (especially the Oakland A's players when he firs a, other professional players seemed to enjoy the lively discourse and antics of a Will Ferrell in the locker room and club house.
Kudos to Will Ferrell for actually playing all of the positions the field, being involved in a minimal role regarding fielding, filling in as a third-base coach at one point to help some of the younger guys understand the situation that the team was in, going up to the plate and taking a couple of stabs at bat, sharing his sunflower seeds and even some of his nachos with teammates lifting their morale, and even quite possibly setting a M.L.B. record that could possibly stand forever as he started one game with the Arizona Diamondbacks playing outfield, yet after they began to trail by double-digits (and "yes" some of those last runs were due to Ferrell's misplaying of a fly ball hit towards his area of the outfield), Ferrell was traded during mid-game across the diamond to Cinncinati's dugout where he managed to become (what I have to believe was the first person ever to have done this) a member of the winning side and ended the game victorious by over double-digits in runs. Lastly, Ferrell does also demonstrate at least minimal knowledge of the game and its history, a normal skill level for the average person (with the exception of pitching which he may have participated somewhat in, but that was also clearly edited to some extent.
Luckily, Ferrell's clearly familiar with baseball and was able to recognize the more promising situations and/or better instances to exploit for laughter, as Ferrell's awareness for all of that and combined with his more traditional strengths like improvisation, writing sequences and physical comedic ability along with a quick wit ensured that as long as the production team kept a watch on time, they would be able to avoid any risk of overkill with this rather simple, one-and-done premise and were able to make this light-hearted docu-comedy amusing for any and all who see it.