TOMMY'S HONOUR

 

Immediately, the most interesting thing about this golf origin story is that Jason Connery - Sean Connery's kid - is the director. Though it is not his first feature length film, it is the first to get any kind of notice; that was winning the BAFTA Scotland Award last year.

 

The second most interesting thing is the little factoid that the British Open, or as they call it in the UK - The Open, was developed by caddies! It seems that in the 1800's the only professional golfers were caddies who also designed and made golf clubs, golf courses and carried wealthy golfers clubs.

 

Connery's film depicts the two most pivotal players Old Tom Morris and Young Tommy Morris in the personages of Peter Mullan and Jack Lowden, the father and son team that dominated the sport in its infancy. There were the ones who developed the championship at Prestwick Golf and kept it alive as a wealthy man's pastime.

The story follows first Old Tom as he struggles to make ends meet living off the meager tips of the wealthy golfers who actually own the land and courses. His son was only fifteen when he began showing his high skill level of moving the ball around the heavily undulating courses.

 

The film describes the reason for The Open was to find a Scottish champion, the prize was a simple Challenge belt that cost the members 25. Of the first twelve Opens, Old Tom and Young Tommy won eight.

 

"Tommy's Honour" goes on to describe the lightweight competition between father and son and their ongoing struggle with the wealthy course owners/members over salaries and winnings. It also describes Young Tommy's eventual marriage to Meg Drinnen (Ophelia Lovibound) and how it was originally scorned by Tommy's parents.

 

The talent is first rate and the story is somewhat interesting, however, there is only so much you can really do with a Scottish golf story to give it any kind of entertainment value. Thus the film plays out more like a documentary rather than a narrative.

 

The photography is almost solid enough to save the film, but again we are talking about Scottish Links courses which are basically sandy mounds of mossy grass with no trees and a few sand traps!

 

"Tommy's Honour" is fairly well acted and photographed, but is painfully slow - especially with a nearly two hour run time. Fans of golf might need to charge themselves with lots of caffeine to make it through!   -- GEOFF BURTON

 

GEOFF BURTON

 

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