"Facing the Giants" looks like a football film on the outside, but it is far more than a simple sports flick. There is enough football to satisfy the jock types, but also enough relationship storyline to satisfy the romantics and a good solid message underlying the whole thing.
A thoroughly enjoyable film, suitable for the whole family, this movie offers humorous bits just where they're needed and delivers the drama when it's appropriate.
The characters are genuine and very identifiable as people in the real world. None of them are perfect, but all are well-rounded. There are no big name stars here, just a group of people who earnestly believe in what they are trying to accomplish. In my opinion, they accomplish it admirably.
Take a football team from a private high school in Georgia (where football is nearly as sacred as it is in Texas) and give them a history of losing seasons. Add a coach (filled with self-doubt, as played by Alex Kendrick)) who is assisted by two of the biggest malapropism spouters (JT Hawkins and Brady Owens) in recent filmdom. Mix in restless parents, teenage angst and backstage machinations. Top with the coach’s wife, a woman desperate to be a mother (played by Brooke Taylor with elegant simplicity). Stir thoroughly and serve with a topping of struggle. Garnish with faith and serve to any fan of family friendly films.
One unforgettable scene has to do with a “death crawl,” an exercise where one player crawls across the field on hands and toes while carrying another player on his back. If you can sit still through this scene, check your pulse – you may be dead!
If you judge a movie on how many special effects there are, how many things get blown up, how many four-letter words get thrown about and how many people get butchered - you'll hate "Facing the Giants." If you like a story with struggles, disappointments but above all, hope - you'll like it. This is a movie you can watch with you parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, a date or a spouse.
Produced by Sherwood Pictures, “Facing the Giants” is now available on DVD at many outlets or by ordering from Sherwood Pictures at http://www.facingthegiants.com/buydvd/.
(Expanded from a review I originally wrote Sept, 30, 2006 for movies.yahoo.com)
© 2007 Mary Beth Magee