Twelve (2019)

Twelve popped up on my radar a little while ago. Since baseball went into hibernation, I was somewhat reluctant to tease myself with watching the game I dearly missed. Now that the game is back, it was time to fill my day with nothing but baseball. 

At first glance, I figured Twelve would be just another movie about a little league baseball team, in this case, player, who struggles and then finds glory. I was utterly wrong. This wasn’t anything like you’ve seen before. Kyle Cooke (Waytt Ralff) was never a bad baseball player, he just ended up in the wrong town and cut from an all-star team. All that did was motivate the world’s best 12-year-old baseball player to get even better. 

After a move to a new town, Kyle altered the course of the Little League World Series by helping his team sweep through state and regional championships to reach his goal of playing in the show. 

Something that made this movie so enjoyable was the coach who cut him, Chad Hastings (Jeremy Holm). This egotistical coach really summed up what life is like for kids in organized sports these days. Despite their young ages, Chad was the kind of coach who had favourites and sucked the life out of playing the game in favour of showboating. It was great to see him get a dose of humble pie at the end, but he did earn my respect for admitting his mistakes. No matter what, though, watching him go down in defeat was pretty fun. 

Kyle was underestimated at every turn, except at home. His entire family got behind his mission to play in the Little League World Series. His parents were the type to sacrifice their personal lives for the betterment of their son’s dreams. You have to admire folks who are that supportive because too often, you hear about those who don’t. 

I enjoyed Twelve because it was fun, entertaining, and all about baseball. A lot of the run time is focused on in-game action. This is the kind of film that could be motivational for young kids who had goals. They will get to see that hard work does pay off and never take anything for granted. The scout said it best at the end, no matter what happens on the ball diamond, Kyle and his older brother Xavier (Liam Obergfoll) were two fine young men. You couldn’t ask for more out of your lead characters. 9/10

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