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Film Review: ‘Greater’

23 August 2016 8:02 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

When it comes to the all-time greatest walk-on (i.e. non-scholarship) college football player, Arkansas offensive lineman Brandon Burlsworth easily bests Notre Dame’s more famous Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger. In terms of their biopics, however, “Greater” — an account of Burlsworth’s inspiring rise and tragic demise — pales in comparison to the latter’s beloved “Rudy.” An insistent, clunky sermon about triumph through faith, David Hunt’s film is so determined to turn its subject into a Christ-like saint that it loses any sense of him as an actual flesh-and-blood man, the result being a third-string sports saga only apt to play to its devout target audience.

Burlsworth was a heavyset Arkansas kid who, without any prior commitment from the nationally ranked team, fulfilled his childhood dream of becoming an Arkansas Razorbacks member in 1994 — a feat that was then surpassed when he became an all-American offensive lineman during his senior year, »

- Nick Schager

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