Sight and Sound - 12/01/1996
"...THE FAN is real, and the characters are very real..."
Entertainment Weekly - 08/23/1996
"...The latest piece of De Niro psycho-delia....[His] performance is scary, funny, even touching..." -- Rating: B
Quick-tempered Gil Renard (Robert De Niro) has an ex-wife who hates him, a son who fears him, and a job that he's about to lose. The only thing that this down-on-his-luck knife salesman can count on is baseball. He's a loyal, die hard fan, specifically when it comes to his favorite player, Bobby Rayburn (Wesley Snipes). Renard has followed Rayburn's career since day one and is thrilled that his hero has just signed with his hometown team, the San Francisco Giants. When Rayburn hits a slump, his number one fan decides to help him by any means necessary. But when Rayburn discovers the lengths to which his admirer has gone to "help" him and begins to fear Renard, the disturbed fan becomes disillusioned with his hero and focuses his aggression toward Rayburn and his family. De Niro is creepy and menacing as the obsessed Renard, a psychotic stalker who ingratiates himself with his victim. Directed by Tony Scott (TOP GUN, CRIMSON TIDE), the film is based on the novel by Peter Abrahams.
As an escape from his own dismal reality, an on-the-edge, underachieving salesman becomes obsessed with the San Francisco Giants' new star player. His obsession boils over into life-threatening psychosis when the vain, aloof slugger falls into a slump, culminating in a nightmarish confrontation during a driving rainstorm.