Late Life: The Chien-Ming Wang Story (2018)

Late Life: The Chien-Ming Wang Story (2018)

A straightforward and loving tribute to an unsung Taiwanese Major League baseball player

7.0

Movie

Taiwan, United States of America
English, Mandarin
Documentary
2018
FRANK W CHEN, TOMMY YU
Billy Connors, Brian Cashman, Chien-Ming Wang
97 min

What it's about

The first and only Taiwanese player for the New York Yankees, Chien-Ming Wang held many titles: American League Wins Leader, World Series Champion, Olympian, Time 100 Most Influential, and The Pride of Taiwan. He had it all - until a 2008 injury forever altered the course of his career. Late Life: The Chien-Ming Wang Story - named after the late sinking action on his signature pitch - follows the rise and fall of the international icon as he fights his way back into the Major Leagues through endless rehab programs and lengthy stints away from home, carrying the weight of the world on his battered shoulder. A poignant and intimate account of Wang’s steadfast quest, Late Life tells the story of a man who is unwilling to give up and unable to let go.

The take

Though it doesn't delve too deeply into any pressing issues in baseball or into its protagonist's Taiwanese roots, Late Life: The Chien-Ming Wang Story still makes for interesting viewing, mostly for its extremely specific discussions on baseball. Part sports documentary and part study on physical therapy, the film rejects any narratives about innate talent and greatness and aims to depict most great players as they really are: athletes who have had to train hard and maintain their progress through sheer force of will. And at the center is Chien-Ming Wang himself, a gentle and humble giant who makes for an unlikely but refreshing sports celebrity.

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