A feel-good Disney movie that was so much better than it should have been. Playing up the usual sports movie cliches, it rises above the standard due to strong lead performances by LaBeouf and Flitter (he steals the show), and mainly due to the outstanding photography from Hurlbut - I can't say that I've seen any other work from the cinematographer, but his performance here is remarkable.
It is sweet, uplifting and the feel-good of sports films. But it isn't great enough to be the underdog I'd love to say it is, it is too flawed for that, too Disneyed. It sure does mean well, but it sadly never becomes the film you wish it could be. It gives insight into a young innocent LaBeouf who already reveals himself as something more than a common actor, though.
This film should have been more of an epic sports film like "Chariots Of Fire" instead of a Disney produced family popcorn flick with cliche dialogue, limp acting, modest production values, and distracting slow motion scenes. Bill Paxton makes a better actor than a filmmaker. Sorry Bill.