Three-times MVP baseball player Bobby Rayburn joins the San Francisco Giants, and obsessive fan, whose profession is selling hunting knives, Gil Renard is excited over that. But Rayburn plays the worst season of his career and Renard tries to do everything to help him, but goes too far. Written by
***SPOILERS*** Robert De Niro is at his deranged and psychotic best as the crazed baseball fanatic or fan for short Gil Renard a man completely whacked out of his skull. It's Gil who takes matters into his own hands when his hero the just traded to the San Francisco Giants, from the Atlanta Braves, Bobby Rayburn, Wesley Snipes, gets the short end of the stick by the teams management. That's by Bobby not being able to retain his number #11 on his Giants jersey that he feels made him a,.314 lifetime hitter, his supernatural powers in both hitting and catching a baseball.
Gil has his own problems at work and at home with his job as a sport supply executive specializing in hunting knives on the line and his old lady Ellen, Patti D'Arbanville, about to get complete custody of their seven year old son Richie,Andrew J. Ferchlad. But it's baseball,not job or family, that's Gil's true love. And it's in Bobby Rayburn that Gil a former little league baseball pitcher lives out his fantasy life as a major league baseball player. That's in Gil doing in Juan Primo, Beniclo De Toro, with a hunting knife in a hotel bath-house to get Bobby's number #11 back on his Giants jersey. Bobby the 40 million dollar man, that's what the Giants higher ups were paying him, who was in a king size slump all season now, with Primo gone and his famed #11 back, started hitting up to expectations.
It's later on when Gil just happened to be around to save Bobby's eight year old son Sean, Brandon Hammond, from almost drowning in the Pacific Ocean that his high opinions about Bobby drastically changed. Invited into Bobby's beach house for a bottle of beer and a game of pool, which is the least he could do for him, Gil is disgusted in Bobby's opinion about the game of baseball! Which Bobby treats as a game and way to make big bucks, 40 million of them, not the religion that Gil feel that it is! With everything that he did to get Bobby back in the grove in both hitting and fielding, by murdering his top rival on the team Juan Primo, Gil feels that he's not being given him the credit by Bobby, who has no idea what Gil did for him, that he so rightfully deserves. And with that and outraged and dejected Gil plans to make Bobby's life both personal and professional into a living hell on earth!
***SPOILERS*** The movie "The Fan" is really a one man show with Robert De Niro at center stage doing his thing, being off the wall crazy, that he and only he can do best. Not only is De Niro or Gil Renard completely out of his mind but also omnipresent, like some kind of Deity, in seeming to be everywhere and everyplace at the same time. Gil's craziness goes so far as kidnapping Bobby's son Sean and even going farther in murdering his little league hero, his battery mate, Coop, Charles Hallahan, when he himself realized just how crazy Gil his one time best friend really was.
The ending of the movie was a bit too much to take with Gil going all out to get Bobby to publicly acknowledge what he did for him in front of a sold out crowd at Candlestick Park and on top of all that hit a home run for him! If not Bobby's son Sean would become history. The film fell apart with Candlestick Park being hit by hurricane force winds with a tropical downpour added in yet the game that should have been called because of rain is still allowed to go on. Only to have Gil make his grand appearance, you'll never guess as who, out of nowhere and mess up Bobby's home run that he hit for him! Still the film is worth watching for Roert De Niro incredible but very natural,for him, performance. A so out of control and psychotic performance That even tops De Niro's own crazed and deranged interpretation of a homicidal lunatic gone wild in "Cape Fear" some six years earlier.
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