Most sports movies focus on the trope of the underdog team, watching their meteoric rise from backwater losers to district or division champions. Movies like “The Mighty Ducks” or “The Bad News Bears” immediately come to mind.
But let’s talk football for a moment; yes, sure, the season is over and the Super Bowl has come and gone, but sports are still important to a lot of people. Coaches and players immediately begin preparing for the offseason through strategy development and conditioning.
This week we take a look at ‘Home Team’, which is a football film about former NFL coach Sean Payton and the decision he made after being suspended from coaching. -leader with the New Orleans Saints.
Produced by Happy Madison Productions, Adam Sandler’s production studio, movie star comedian Kevin James has Payton. While there are some funny moments and at least one scene typical of a Sandler production, this movie is less comedic and more family-friendly.
If you follow football or sports news, you are probably aware of the BountyGate scandal surrounding Payton’s career between 2009 and 2011. The Saints team used a slush fund to pay players extra money for physically injure the athletes of the opposing teams in order to prevent them from playing. future games.
Payton attempted to rescind his suspension and reconnected with his son in doing so; because he can’t stay away from sports, Payton is eventually recruited to help coach his son’s college football team to a championship game. This road to redemption – another part of the underdog trope – becomes the crux of the story.
James is superb in this role; he’s a fan of the sport and you can tell he took the role seriously. The movie isn’t meant to be played for cheap laughs, but instead focuses on the emotional core of a man who loves football and wants to reunite with his estranged son.
As is common in such underdog movies, Payton begins to steer his coaching style in a direction that takes the fun out of the game, forgetting that his players are kids and not professional athletes. What helps Payton improve his attitude with the players is the balance brought by head coach Troy Lambert played by Taylor Lautner.
Unfortunately, “Home Team” isn’t going to win any awards anytime soon. Like the players and coaches he represents, he is not well liked by critics. IMDb gave it an aggregate score of six out of ten, and Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 20%. Perhaps the film falls a little flat because it retreads the footage covered so frequently by other films.
But he has heart. In an industry bent on building franchises and creating an unnecessary sequel after an unnecessary reboot, it’s good to see an original movie based mostly on real events. This is an especially solid lesson for all parents who coach their children’s sports teams.
“Home Team” with Kevin James and Taylor Lautner is streaming on Netflix. Many thanks to Jayden O. of Fresno for recommending this film.
Garrett K. Jones is a local fantasy writer. He currently has four books published in his ongoing series, and he produces a vlog on YouTube and the Creator’s Corner podcast (available on Spotify, Google, and Apple). www.archivesofthefivekingdoms.com/ Engineering/Twitter: @gkj_publishing
Feel free to contact him with suggestions for movie titles you’d like him to review.