Declaring it was “inspired” by the true story of a supremely successful high school football team (that of De La Salle High), When the Game Stands Tall (2014) simply does not make its material believable.  Example #1: Christian coach Bob Ladouceur, played by Jim Caviezel, teaches his players that a winning streak is not the most important thing in the world, etc.; but when he feels that the boys have failed to get the message (gosh darn it!), the coach disappointedly hangs his head.  The film strongly implies, however, that almost all these players are bona fide Christians, so why doesn’t Ladouceur simply let the Bible tell them what’s right and wrong?

Example #2: The coach arranges for the boys to take a field trip to a VA hospital, but exactly what this does for them is not made clear.  Comic relief occurs, even so, when a wounded veteran’s urine bag bursts open in the hands of a haughty black kid (how does it happen?) who then exclaims, “Aw, heck no!”

On the subject of football Game is good, but, unfortunately, it is yet another “religious” movie with nothing significant to say theologically or Christologically.  In no way does it avoid the disagreeableness of human nature, especially that of high school football players, but neither does it avoid clichés.  The bullying father of a running back is one of them.  The movie has so many flaws it deserves the equivalent of a 15 yard penalty.


Delasalleconcord (Photo credit: Wikipedia)