‘Mr. Go’: Baseball-playing gorilla hits 3-D movie screens in China, Korea

David Brown
Big League Stew

There's only one explanation for "Mr. Go," a new 3-D movie about a Chinese gorilla that (who?) plays professional baseball in Korea: One, they obviously saw the movie "Ed" over in Asia. Two, the filmmaking community there wanted revenge on North America because Spike Lee is remaking "Old Boy."

Mr. Go appears to be bigger, broader and sassier than "Ed," the Matt LeBlanc vehicle from 1996 in which a chimpanzee plays ball for a minor league team. This time, it's a gorilla named Lingling, renamed Mr. Go for marketing purposes, who is forced, through various contrivances, to leave the circus in China and play ball in Korea. Of course he is! There's a cute little girl, too. Of course there is!

A fascinating review in Variety says the computer graphics are OK — and that's backed up in the trailer, I think — but the film lacks other assets:

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Curiously absent are episodes showing how Lingling learns to bat, certainly the yarn’s most fascinating point.

Why, through the Charlie Lau school, without a doubt! The "Walk of Life" music by Dire Straits is a nice touch in the trailer, though. I wonder if that's licensed. Anyway.

Here's the problem with "Mr. Go." One of the problems. No matter how ridiculous it looks, if you are a baseball fan who also watches movies about baseball, you at least have to try and see it.

It's kind of an unwritten rule about baseball movies: To be able to gauge how much better "Field of Dreams" or "Major League" or "The Sandlot" is from bad baseball movies — say, "The Fan" — you must try to watch even the bad ones, or else there's no point of reference.

Even if you never see "Mr. Go" there's a chance you'll want the poster, as I do:

He sure looks happy to be wearing that baseball helmet. Mr. Go doesn't seem like a great name or a baseball player, either, but perhaps that's explained better in the film. Don't you trust them to explain it?!

So far, it's only been released in Asia (and it's doing quite well in Chinese theaters, for some reason). But it will find its way to North America one day. One way or another, it will be available. Maybe it already is on the black market. And you will see it. You must. We all must.

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