Replay Review: Ed

Awful awful awful movie. Do not watch it. (Photo By Getty Images)
Awful awful awful movie. Do not watch it. (Photo By Getty Images) /

This Replay Review covers the movie baseball movie “Ed”.

Have you ever longed to watch a film that is so bad that scouring your brain with a Brillo pad and some bleach afterward actually sounds like a good idea? Better yet, have you ever wanted to watch a movie about a baseball-playing chimpanzee? Do you too yearn to watch a movie that will leave you wishing filmmaking was a forgotten art? Well, if so, boy do I have the movie for you! Let’s discuss the 1996 “””masterpiece””” Ed.

The film, which could not possibly have been designed to advance Matt LeBlanc’s post-Friends career, features the comedic star as a good old country boy named Deuce who decides to try out with a local Minor League baseball team. Deuce impresses coaches with his strong arm and wins a spot on the team. Naturally, he also befriends a baseball-playing chimpanzee named Ed, who is his new roomie and teammate. Because that makes sense.

Deuce also develops a flirtatious but chaste romance with his neighbor, a waitress named Lydia, who has a young daughter, Elizabeth. Deuce and the baseball-playing chimp Ed quickly grow to be close friends, and both their careers take off, with Deuce becoming the team’s ace while Ed “mans” third base and becomes popular with the fans.

When the team’s scheming owners sell Ed to make a quick buck, he’s kidnapped by two meathead goons who torture him for fun (you thought this was a kid’s movie, didn’t you). Deuce is able to save Ed from the kidnappers, but Ed must be hospitalized when he becomes trapped in a truck of Frosted Bananas snacks and almost freezes to death. Deuce subsequently struggles without Ed on the team, and his career looks like it might never get off the ground. Of course, Ed leaves the hospital to cheer Deuce on in his big postseason start and Deuce rallies, but not before kissing Lydia and finally confessing his feelings. The movie ends with Deuce, Lydia, Elizabeth, and Ed living together as a family. Aww.

Yeah, this movie is really, really, really bad. This is genuinely one of the worst movies I’ve ever had the misfortune of sitting through, and I saw Junior starring Arnold Schwartzenegger. In theaters. Ed is heinously bad. The baseball “special effects” are obviously fake, the sound effects and music are dumb and cheesy, the acting is substandard, and the plot is an almost nonsensical pile of irredeemable rubbish.

After the movie finished, I sat on my couch and asked myself to make sense of it and pull some common threads loose that I could weave into a—at the very least—a semi-coherent review. I’ve been thinking about this for the last several weeks and I’ve got nothing.

This movie was bad and I have nothing good to say about it. I don’t like chimpanzees as it is, so I didn’t find Ed the baseball-playing chimp to be a drawing factor, nor did I find him cute and endearing as the filmmakers were no doubt hoping. The comic relief was incredibly off-putting, Deuce is a bland main character, and the romance felt unnecessary and tacked on. The strongest relationship in the movie was the friendship Deuce forged with Lydia’s young baseball-loving daughter, Elizabeth, when Elizabeth isn’t trying desperately to set Deuce up with her mom because she needs a father figure in her life.

Maybe the one positive thing I can say about this movie is, despite the fact it sets up an obvious and tired homophobic joke—Elizabeth asks if Deuce is reluctant to date her mom because he’s gay—she quickly adds that there’s nothing wrong with being gay. Given that this movie came out 24 years ago, I found the swift undercutting of potential homophobia to be one tiny, minuscule tick in the box of “good stuff” the film Ed has to offer. Buuuuut that’s it. There is nothing else.

I cannot, in good conscience, recommend this movie to anyone. I really don’t even think most kids will enjoy it unless your kid has an unusual affinity for chimpanzees. It’s not like the Air Bud series, which features an adorable gaggle of baseball-playing golden retrievers. Pretty much everyone loves golden retrievers. They’re universally beloved and cute, even if you’re not a huge dog person. Chimp antics just get tired after a while. I was fed up after five minutes of this abominable, absolutely unbearable movie assaulting my eyes and eardrums. There are so many other mediocre heartwarming baseball movies you could watch besides this one! Do not subject your friends or loved ones to this movie (unless you actually secretly hate them or just want to torture them for a couple of hours). If you truly care about your loved ones, direct them to Rookie of the Year, Little Big League, Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch, or Angels in the Outfield (either one) instead.

I’ll be completely honest here. It’s been an immense struggle to come up with even this many words about this horrid movie. I usually try to find something positive to say about a movie, even if it’s a complete dud or a nightmare slog. That’s just about impossible with Ed. There is nothing about this movie that is the remotest bit redeemable. I do not recommend this movie to anyone, living or dead.

And with that, I am going to set my DVD copy of Ed on fire.

Check out my last Replay Review of the movie “42”.