The De La Salle High School Spartans football team accomplished the seemingly impossible when they won a record 151 games in a row and won multiple championships during that timespan. However, everything came crashing down the day they finally lost a game. The team began to splinter and tragedies hit close to home. Due to health concerns, Coach Bob Ladouceur takes a leave of absence only to discover how disconnected he has become from his family. When the dust settles, a second chance emerges for Coach Ladouceur, his family, and his team to redeem themselves and begin a new legacy.
Production Quality (2 points)
The production quality is not as bad as some movies this caliber, but it is not the best that it could be. The camera work is the strongest element, as the scenes are filmed well, especially the football action scenes. However, the editing is very choppy, probably due to the fact that there is a large amount of content. Time marches quickly without much warning and important scenes seem to be missing from the final cut. Finally, the movie is replete with product placements that were evidently needed to fund this movie. Box Office Revolution realizes that independent Christian films are difficult to fund, but overt product placements give the movie a cheesy feel.
Plot and Storyline Quality (1 point)
Tracking back to the large amount of content in the movie, it seems like the creators bit off more than they could chew, so to speak. This is a large scale story that spans multiple football seasons, and in the wake of covering a lot of time, character development is sacrificed. In an epic, the dialogue is precious and must be used to its full potential. When the Game Stands Tall does not do this and instead wastes dialogue by making it shallow and\or forced, thus affecting the characters. A lot of people were affected in this true story, but there are too many characters in the movie, some of which only have a handful of scenes. It is noble to attempt to make an epic that spans multiple years, and it is possible to be done, but this movie doesn’t stand up to the challenge.
Acting Quality (1.5 points)
While there is not much meaningful dialogue for the actors to work with, the delivery is vanilla. Believable emotion seems absent from many of the actors. Jim Caviezel is pretty good in his role, but that is the extent of the dynamic acting. Again, the acting is not terrible, but it is just not compelling.
Many poignant issues are dealt with in When the Game Stands Tall, but they are not packaged well. The audience is alienated and lost in a sea of movie content, which unfortunately could have made for a good movie. Since a real life story is followed, there was a lot of opportunity for a realistic and believable movie, but this movie was not successful in capturing this.
Final Rating: 4.5 out of 10 points