“When the Game Stands Tall” is the true life story of highschool football coach Bob Ladouceur after his team's 151 game winning streak broke the U.S. Record in 2004.
The film is directed by Thomas Carter and stars Jim Caviezel (Passion of the Christ) as Ladouceur. This is Thomas' sophomore outing in the sports film genre after 2005's well received basketball film Coach Carter. Thomas does a good job fitting a year and a half football story into a film just under 2 hours.
Caviezel does a wonder job playing the De La Salle coach. Caviezel's soft, patient but firm voice rallies his troops after a stunning 39-20 defeat to Bellevue Highschool in the first act of the film. The rest of the move is a tale of redemption.
The film really begins 20 minutes in, after the team struggles emotionally with their loss of “the streak” of 151 wins. Players have to overcome egos, learn to be a team, and deal with real loss outside the game of football. Several of the player's stories on the De La Salle team are heart breaking. The viewers will feel the excitement as De La Salle climb back to the top as they unite to obtain their former glory.
WTGST story has a moral compass and overtones of a faith based film. Ladouceur quotes bible verses, prays with the team and helps students with their faith in times of trouble. Ladouceur's emphasis on building moral Godly men instead just a winning team adds substance to the film.
Pacing of the film is troublesome at times. Many of the games in the season are glossed over. Viewers will lose some excitement during the second act because the story of redemption seems too easy on the football field. Toward the end of the film, games slow down gradually to play by play action. The intensity the audience will feel for the De La Salle team is exhilarating in the final act.
Bottom line, the movie had great actors, a great script but the pacing during the film struggled in the second act. Caviezel did a wonderful job portraying coach Ladouceur and the faith based tones in the movie added substance to a overall great film.
Sulphur Springs Starplex movie theater is showing “When the Game Stands Tall” at Monday through Friday at 1:35 p.m., 4:05 p.m. and 6:45 p.m.
“When the Game Stands Tall”
4 out of 5 stars
When the Game Stands Tall
Written by Jon Lance
|< Prev||Next >|