Friday, September 15, 2006

Gridiron Gang

Directed by Phil Joanou
Written by Jeff Maguire based on the 1993 documentary "Gridiron Gang"

More compelling and predictable football drama, just three weeks after Disney's Invincible. Really and truly, we can't much expect anything different from these movies anymore. There's going to be internal team conflict, a central figure who ties them together, and a Big Play at the End that punctuates the season.

Another based-on-a-true-story account, this concerns juvenile prison counsellor Sean Porter (The Rock), who sees the system not working for the L.A. kids sent here for rehabilitation. They all go back on the street and living the thug life and getting shot and killed. So, his idea was to get these kids and form a football team, something that teaches comraderie and lifts spirits, being a part of something positive for a change. Featured are thugs-turned-football-players Roger Weathers (Michael J. Pagan), Kenny Bates (Trever O'Brien), and Junior Palaita (Setu Taase) in their effort to shake being lifelong losers and becoming winners.

It has nothing to do with winning games, of course, but winning sure does help doesn't it? Yes, the team, which squares off against high school teams in the area, starts winning and even makes the playoffs--of course, their first regular season game is a huge embarassing loss to a mostly (or all) white team made out to be cackling villains, and of course they are the team they play in the playoffs.

Is it uplifting? Sure. Has a good message? Yes. Football exciting? You got it. So, football movie fans won't be disappointed at all and it fits the bill. Question is, has enough time gone by between this and Invincible for you to want to see a slightly different underdog drama this weekend? America--you make the call!


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