So yesterday I went to see the new movie,When the Game Stands Tall starring Jim Caviezel, Laura Dern,and Michael Chiklis. This movie is about the storied De La Salle high school football program which, if you’re from Northern California like myself, you’ve more than heard about. I was in high school during the time which the Spartans of De La Salle went on a 151-game winning streak that spanned from 1991-2003 and heard about win after win after win and I thought to myself “Are these guys ever going to lose?”
Well,in 2004 to begin the season,they did.
Anyways, the movie begins where I thought it wouldn’t. To the final game of the 151-game streak where they beat Pittsburg High. Then the offseason comes where Coach Bob LaDouceur has a heart attack and he is ordered to stop coaching for a while. His son is disappointed because he was hoping that his dad would be coaching him in his senior year since he is the starting wide receiver. The team also deals with tragedy as Terrence Kelly, a De La Salle star linebacker who was going to go to Oregon for his collegiate career, was gunned down in his hometown of Richmond,Calif.
The team begins the season 0-2 and faces a tough school down south,Long Beach Poly in the third week of the year. It’s over 100 degrees on the field and Poly has bigger players and large roster. However, De La Salle plays them tough and wins the game. I thought that was the end of the movie,but it wasn’t. They continue the season along and fast forward to the title game where the Spartans play Amador Valley and their star running back needs three touchdowns to break the record for most rushing touchdowns in a season. The record seems to matter more to his dad than it does to him. Anyways, in the game, Ryan gets two touchdowns and is yards away from getting the third and final one,but decides not to because the team had already won and the record doesn’t matter as much as the win does to the team, so they take a knee and then the game is over and essentially the movie is as well.
Overall, I thought the movie was okay. I thought the movie would be more about the streak than it was the offseason after it, but that would be hard to cover a 12-year streak. Also, I found out a lot of the stuff in the movie didn’t happen,which, I expected,but so much of it was in fact fabricated. The parts of the movie that really happened weren’t given much in terms of a storyline and that really bothered me. I was hoping for a lot more from this movie, but having seen better movies like Remember the Titans, it just doesn’t hold up,especially if you have to fabricate a lot of the movie to get a decent story out of it. See this movie if you must, but I am warning you that it isn’t as good as I would have hoped.