In a struggling small town in rural Alabama, a high school is struggling in many ways, not only financially, but also emotionally. But now that a famous football coach is back in town to revive the team, locals have a new reason to hope. A teenager running from home finds sanctuary in this town as he uses his work ethic to get onto the football team in route to turning his life around via a university football scholarship. But when trouble strikes again, the townspeople will have to decide whether or not they will give up or rise up.
Production Quality (2 points)
With a modest budget behind it, Hometown Legend certainly spent the money pretty well. Sports movies have to be able to nail the action shots and the outside scenes, and this film does that, including respectable camera work. As usual, the video quality and audio quality both pass the test. The soundtrack is a bit too pedestrian and borderline Hallmark; this is something that needed a change. Another common theme in these types of films is weak editing, and Hometown Legend also has this attribute. A movie like this one needs a strong edit, and this simply does not happen, as some scenes carry on longer than they should while others are underdeveloped. In short, Hometown Legend is a very average film in pretty much every way.
Plot and Storyline Quality (1 point)
While Jerry B. Jenkins’ original novel is memorable, the film adaptation does not capture its authenticity. Where the characters are down to earth in the book, they fail to be in the movie. The underdevelopment of these characters is likely due to the number of flat scenes throughout the film. The storyline of Hometown Legend is neither cheesy nor dynamic—it’s very static and safe. A plot like this one needed to have an abstract yet down-to-earth feel to it, but it does not. It’s too generic and does not stand out in a crowded genre. There aren’t enough plot twists and the ending is anti-climactic. In short, where this plot could have been great, it falls short.
Acting Quality (1.5 points)
This movie is cast fairly well; people are placed in appropriate positions. Emotions are fairly believable and line delivery is pretty good. However, in keeping with the other aspects of this film, there is really nothing dynamic here, even though there could have been. This is really the theme of the movie.
Hometown Legend portrays the simplicity of small town life in Alabama—with a stereotypical diner and a high school football team to cheer for. It lives up to its simple message in every way, with a simple production, a simple storyline, and simple acting. There’s nothing wrong with simple. In fact, simple can be groundbreaking and profound. However, this movie is a little too simple and does not touch the authentic thread that it needed to. Many will find it enjoyable and it’s not half bad, but we would love to see a remake, because it can definitely be greater than this.
Final Rating: 4.5 out of 10 points