The Tiger Woods Story

Tiger Woods has changed the face of golf forever, giving one of America's least loved major sports a rare superstar. But that doesn't make him an interesting subject for a film biography. The helpfully titled The Tiger Woods Story tells the unremarkable tale of a nice young man with an incredible, seemingly innate talent for the game of golf who, through hard work and dedication, becomes a great success in the sport of his choice. And nothing could be more dull. As a man of African-American and Asian descent, Woods (played for the majority of the film by Khalil Kain) encountered and overcame a certain amount of racial prejudice during his incredible rise. That said, his struggles against Southern country clubs and crackpot threats of violence, at least as portrayed here, won't exactly make anyone forget Jackie Robinson or Roberto Clemente. Perhaps wisely, The Tiger Woods Story places the emphasis on other aspects of Woods' life. Unwisely, these include his early battle against prejudice directed at golfers too young to tie their own shoes, his resistance to eating his vegetables, his impassioned request that his father (veteran character actor Keith David, bringing a bit of gravity to things) bring him to golf tournaments in time to take in a practice round, and his valiant efforts to help his dad quit smoking. Director LeVar Burton (of Star Trek and Roots fame) should have known better than to take on any project in which a key sequence hinges on whether or not his main character will receive a suitably obscene endorsement contract from Nike. Not that Burton helps things; his film has all the dramatic intensity of a fast-food training tape. There might someday be a good movie to be made of Woods' life—perhaps if success spoils him, he develops some bad habits, or maybe loses a limb—but The Tiger Woods Story is the film equivalent of a Successories plaque.

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