Look at those legs! Hot damn Shia! Killing the game! There is no more comparable athlete/actor pairing than McEnroe and LaBeouf. They’re more or less the same person, both complete lunatics with short fuses. McEnroe was must watch in his playing days, and Shia LaBeouf is as big a wildcard as anybody. I will say that Shia doesn’t exude much of an athletic vibe, but he’s a method actor if I’ve ever seen one. Let’s not forget about the time he cut himself on set to make his war scars look real. His history of ridiculousness is well documented and now his resume gets a little longer. Everyone knows Shia LaBeouf is clinically insane. John McEnroe, also insane, admitted that Shia was a good fit for the role.
Evidently it’s a biopic recapping the rivalry between John McEnroe and Björn Borg dating back to the late 70’s/early 80’s. The only worry I have is that there has never been a good tennis movie. I saw Wimbledon on a flight once with Kirsten Dunst, and it was not good. Actually that may be the only tennis movie ever made. The bar is low, so this actually could be a good thing. Nobody is expecting an awesome tennis movie. The pressure to deliver is minimal at best. Worst case scenario the movie stinks and nobody cares. Next best option is the movie is decent. But the best possible outcome is that the movie sucks and Shia LaBeouf transforms into John McEnroe full time. We’ve seen Shia go off the handle before, but we need a 24/7 bad boy maniac. As much as I love the spontaneity and the innate uncertainty that comes with Shia LaBeouf, some of his antics are too calm for my liking, like when he hitchhiked across the country or sat in a movie theater for 3 days. We need him to be ready to flip a switch at any moment. If his food is cold, he kills the waiter. If someone leaves a shopping cart in his spot, he puts that shopping cart through their windshield. If someone doesn’t hold the door for him, he hands them on a flagpole by their underwear. That’s what we need and deserve.