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Gridiron Gang (PG-13)





Release Date: September 15th, 2006 by Columbia Pictures.
The Cast: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Xzibit, L. Scott Caldwell, Leon Rippy, Kevin Dunn, Jade Yorker, David V. Thomas, Setu Taase, Mo, James Early, Trevor O'Brien, Brandon Smith, Jurnee Smollett.
Directed by Phil Joanou.

BASIC PREMISE: Sean Porter (Johnson) coaches juveniles at a detention center into football players. Based on a true story.

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Gridiron Gang has a formulaic plot with dull, contrived scenes off the football field, but on field, itís quite the contrary. The plot takes a while to get going through the first act where Sean Porter, picks juvenile delinquents to form a football team called The Mustangs. They all go through basic routines which includes rigorous training and corny speeches by their coach. One of the players has a contrived romance with a local girl. Unfortunately, none of the characters stand out enough for you to actually care about them. The Rock gives a bland performance which makes his character unconvincing and unlikable as a supposedly inspiring coach. Screenwriter Jeff Maguire fails to generate any real drama off the field as the youths predictably run into more gang violence. Too many scenes feel melodramatic and stilted. On a positive note, director Phil Joanou shows a keen eye for football action which is precisely when the film becomes briefly exciting and pulse-pounding, but ultimately forgettable. Stick around through the end credits to watch footage of the real Mustang coach and team members, which is much more engaging than the rest of the film.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: Unfortunately, none.

INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Corny, formulaic and bland.

NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 4

IN A NUTSHELL: Exciting football action scenes donít compensate for a formulaic plot with bland character and corny dialogue.

RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: VHS/DVD


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