Adapted from the quarterback memoir of the same title, “American Underdog” has a distinctive, sometimes interesting kooky vibe, even as its cause-and-effect narrative doesn’t explain how Warner managed to get into the National Football League from way outside the normal channel, and at such a young age. older than usual. To put it simply, the film kind of makes it seem like Warner went from being an undesigned free agent to playing arena ball to St. Louis Rams and Super Bowl XXXIV victory was mainly on the basis of being a kind, godly man who treated him well and did the boring, important day jobs even when he didn’t like them. If that were the case, professional sports teams around the world would be managed exclusively by kind and caring people, many of whom were not fit.
Not important. Imagine”), and it explains its focus and message. This is a film about virtue, commitment, and belief, and how if you possess and diligently maintain those qualities, good things will happen to you, if not soon, then eventually.
While “American Underdog” doesn’t skimp on football action—there are some sequences done on a grand scale just right—the focus is on Kurt (Zachary Levi) and his future wife Brenda (Anna Paquin). They met in the early ’90s, when Kurt, who played college ball at the University of Northern Iowa, worked at a grocery store and sent VHS spotlight reels to recruiters, and Brenda, an Army veteran, reared his legally blind brain. A broken son, Zack (Hayden Zaller), after being abandoned by his cheating husband. The initial focus was on the budding relationship between Kurt and Brenda, and surprisingly, that’s where it stayed.
Levi and Paquin are too old to convincingly play a character at this stage of their lives (Levi 41, Paquin 38) and they’ve had wigs on, but their chemistry is great and they’re both amazing actors, so it’s not hard to get through it all. The best thing about this film is its refusal to move according to the defined rhythm of standard edition sports images. It returns to the gridiron just when it’s time to set the next career milestone, and milestones are only important because they affect the lives of Kurt, Brenda, and Zack. “American Underdog” is about a couple moving in for years and getting to know each other and take care of each other. This approach may be unique among sports films. The genre tends to reduce the hero pair to a supporting figure who stands on the sidelines (or a constantly crying person who wants him to stop playing for health reasons).
Initially, there’s a good, long scene in which Kurt, who meets Brenda at the local honkytonk club, shows up at his house to deliver one red rose, only to realize he’s not there. Zack invites her in, holds her hand. He jokes that he has to be here to see Brenda, and he’s not worried that she’s an intruder because why is the intruder lying on his back on the kitchen floor next to a blind child? The scenes are so weird (in an interesting way) that only life can come from, and there are plenty of such scenes, including one set during the winter season where the family’s car runs out of fuel on an interstate highway and Kurt has to leave them on the road. there and walked a few miles to fill up a gas can and walked all the way back. What does that have to do with football? Nothing, but it’s a thing that happens all the time, and you never see it in the movies.
The problem, however, is that the “American Underdog” never really connected Kurt and Brenda’s modest virtues with Kurt’s rise to quarterback. What makes this film unique among sports films is the focus on the central relationship, and you could even say that you could make the exact same film about a man who drives a bus or runs a shoe store and goes to win the bus driver of the year or the store manager. shoes of the year, provided you can get the funding for such a film (a big “if”). Unfortunately, if the point is that this person got into the profession and became a huge success despite not being the type to usually be within screaming distance
from such a dream, you’
I realize that’s what it’s for to make films specifically for this particular section of the entertainment market, and I don’t know how anyone would make films like that, but still, it’s frustrating. A football that doesn’t care whether the players are good people can also be the subject of films about faith and values.