Youngblood (1986) Poster


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I like...
jbird97917 April 2003
...what Youngblood attempts, which is to tell the story of an up and coming star at a crucial point in his hockey career. Of all the hockey movies I've seen, including Slap Shot, The Mighty Ducks movies, The Cutting Edge (which focuses on hockey for only the beginning of the film) and the Van-Damme action-film Sudden Death, (which in my opinion is the absolute worst hockey-related movie ever made) the plot of Youngblood is the most reasonable to me. I have not seen Mystery Alaska, but from a friend of mine's description, it sounds quite far-fetched. (although I suppose a group of Alaskans probably would have a chance against the Rangers :)

I was born late in 1979, and first saw Youngblood when I was quite young. In fact, it was the first hockey movie I ever saw, and to date the only one I own. Part of my fascination with this film resulted from my passion for the sport of ice hockey, which I began playing at the age of 4 and maintained competitively through the collegiate level.

What I like most about Youngblood is that the story is centered around one player (Dean) and his struggles to advance his career, despite his talent. The obstacles he faces in the film: lack of toughness, and clashing with the coach, and knowing his chances to go pro are running slim, are typical themes hockey players share as they advance toward the ultimate goal of one day playing in the NHL. While Slapshot is hockey's cult classic, it is more like Animal House on Ice than a realistic attempt to portray ice hockey, which Youngblood attempts, and quite honestly a film of such nature should be produced for the avid hockey fans around the world.

Without a doubt, Youngblood fails to portray skillful hockey, and the off-ice action only mildly captures the life of a junior hockey player, but had the proper research been done and certain changes made pre-production, Youngblood could have joined Slapshot in hockey fans' movie collections. The games needed to be faster, the dialogue snappier, (especially the Keanu Reeves brainbusters) and the Rocky-ish training diminished the quality of the film, because not only would Dean not go from being the weakest in the league to kicking the toughest guy's butt in a week, but most wannabe professionals and junior teams have regimented training programs to follow on a regular basis, and do not begin two days before the championship game of the league they're in.

Cutting that scene could have made room for a far more realistic side of the game, such as Dean being contacted by prospective coaches, agents and other interested parties to notify him they'd be coming to watch his games. (like most prospects with hopes of going pro have to deal with)

Dean simply mentions that he wants to go pro and needs to play juniors if he's going to get a contract, but that is the last we hear about him playing pro, aside from mentioning it to Jessie, coach Chadwick's sexy daughter, and Dean's love interest. From my experiences, any player in junior hockey who did not receive a fair amount of attention from scouts was quite likely not going anywhere, so there should have been some effort to include them to advance the plot of his odds of making it, because scouts would have certainly had more influence on Dean playing tougher than anyone in the film does, although in reality his teammates should have been getting on him too.

As for character interplay, Dean's relationship with Chadwick's daughter is entertaining, if far-fetched. Perhaps the most realistic relationship between characters in the film is the one between Sutton and Youngblood, as the top talents of hockey teams often have an appreciation for one another and pal-up off the ice. Not to mention, the Hollywood impact on the film is the only logical explanation for Youngblood leaving the team after Sutton's injury. In all my years as a player, I'd never heard of that one, although, I suppose it just explains Dean's irrational behavior resulting from his conflicts with coach Chadwick and his nemesis, Racki.

On the whole, I appreciate this movie, but I certainly wish it had more of an advanced pace and that it better explored and explained some of the typical stereotypes of hockey players that it shows (star player chases and gets the girl everyone wants, the bar scene, the initiation, the opposing team's heckling fans, etc.)

As a long-time hockey player and fan who now studies Scriptwriting at Ithaca College, I feel somewhat obligated to pen a true-to-life hockey film for the die-hard lovers of the game out there. Somebody needs to!! Youngblood, if nothing else, at least will make a decent reference.
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Very good representation...
jcutolo8 January 2004
While there have been many posts stating that this movie is a poor representation of what hockey is really like, I must disagree. I have played hockey up to the college level, and I have had more than one occasion to tryout or play for junior teams in Canada. While many specifics in the movie are exagerated, the parts that people seem to be most offended by are the parts that are true. There is something to be said for rinks that have chain link fencing in stead of glass, every tryout has one or two guys that trip over the blue line untouched, fighting at tryouts, and yes, there are Canadian towns which are old and run down. The social aspects of the movie are definately true: the woman that every guy has been with, the initiating of the rookie, silly girls at the local bar, and of course, the unruley fans. While the movie does take some creative liscence, it is an accurate representation of what life is like for a hockey player trying to make it in junior hockey. I love this movie. It is a must see for anyone who plays the game.
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I like it.
tripwires3 September 2001
Maybe it's because I neither follow hockey nor care for it, or maybe it's because I'm a 15-year-old female teenager, but I liked this movie. Sure, it's nothing special or extraordinary, in fact its plot has been done a million times. But I just liked it. It's virtually impossible not to like Dean Youngblood (and it's got nothing to do with the fact that Rob Lowe is hot) and to cheer for him when he finally learns how to hit a guy. The romance between Dean and Jessie actually doesn't seem forced; the two of them have a certain chemistry that is quite obvious to viewers like myself. Cynthia Gibb is all-natural in her role as Jessie, and Patrick Swayze evokes empathy in the viewer as the high-school drop-out who is *this close* to being a pro hockey player. But it is Rob Lowe who basically carried the whole movie, and once again, it has got nothing to do with the fact that he is hot.

Overall, this is a feel-good hockey movie that I liked. I usually can't stand sports movies, as I hate sports with an intense passion, but this one is just...well, it's just nice. And then there's Rob Lowe...
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Great movie a must see!!
Stephen Ross24 September 2001
I really cant see why people think this film isnt at least worthy of a 8-10 rating.

This movie is in my top 10 mivies of all time along with Casino, T2, Aliens, Goodfellas, Die Hard, Braveheart, Pulp Fiction ,Reservoir Dogs and The Real McCoy which is a film about a bank robbery.

Youngblood is such a great film. It is the best Ice Hockey movie i have ever seen and he also gets a hot babe in the film too. When he is taught how to fight u know its a predictable ending but at the same time u just really want to see him kick that bad guys ass.

My advice is watch it enjoy it and as long as u dont over hype it the film will be most enjoyable
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adding to the mix
richaudFullSail24 December 2001
There are a lot of angry Canadian people expressing hatred for this movie. I can totally understand where they are coming from. I play the game of hockey, and I find it hard to believe that every time a player touches the ice, he's scoring goals. Added to that, how he learns to fight, and works out for a week, and all of a sudden beats up a guy that kicked his butt a couple of weeks before. BUT.... You also have to understand something else. Since Slap Shot, an undoubtedly awesome classic to all hockey fans around the world, there had not been an attempt at a movie that mainly focused on hockey. The makers of this movie had to be creative to attract attention for the sport. For example, the stick fight, the constant beautiful goals, the way he won the fight. It had some reality to it like the jokes played on the rookie in the bar and when they shave him, you know, down there. The way he was put up in someones house. The most impressive thing about the movie, was the beginning and how it set up the rest of the movie. It starts with a home video of Dean(Rob Lowe) when he was very young playing with his older brother and their friends. It shows how clearly dominant he was and that leads into the present time with him saying, "I've been offered a tryout with the Hamilton Mustangs." And to Canadians who feel like this movie disrespected your great sport (yes, i mean GREAT sport), remember this. When they are on their way to Canada, Deans older brother who is driving him says you are gonna have to learn, "Oh, Canada" and also when Dean says, "They'll never catch me" showing cockiness like he's superior to anyone in the league, his brother says, "Oh, they'll catch you." I love hockey, I loved this movie. Did it have it's flaws? Yeah, plenty of them. But if you're looking for an inspiring, action filled drama, give this movie a whirl.
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Fire and Ice.
Robert J. Maxwell23 April 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I know nothing about hockey but managed to learn a few things from watching this formulaic sports story.

One is that a goalie has to be extremely supple. He must be able to do splits comfortably. And there is an unsettling scene towards the end, just before Rob Lowe's penalty shot, when the goalie of the enemy team (that's the proper term) extends one ugly padded leg in one direction and kneels on the other, then slithers slowly back and forth in front of the net like a dangerous eel or serpent. He also apparently gets to wear a mask as threatening as he likes -- skulls, a mass of stitches, any design will do.

Another thing I learned is that hockey isn't all speed and skill with the stick. The teams, the referees, the coaches, the fans, are all allowed to stand back and not interfere with two players who have decided to duke it out, first with sticks, like Medieval jousters, then with bare fists like kids in a junior high school playground. The fight can last a long time, until one of the combatants hits the dirt, or rather the ice.

There's nothing much new about the plot. Lowe is a natural talent on the ice but must quit for a time during his rise to celebrity in order to overcome some personal demons and then return to become the star he was always destined to be.

He's only seventeen years old and gets hazed when he joins the Mustangs. But he makes a friend too, Patrick Swayze, who tells him that nothing, absolutely nothing, compares to playing in the rink. I figured Swayze at once for a paralyzing C-spine injury that would turn him into a mummy from the neck down. I almost got it right.

Then there's Racki, an ugly name for a gargantuan enemy player given to smashing members of the other team and playing dirty. I figured Lowe would wind up beating him to a pulp. Bingo.

Then there's Cynthia Gibb as the daughter of Lowe's manager, Ed Lauter. Lauter doesn't like the team even looking at her. But how could anyone not? She was a model at fourteen and is now the cutest, cleanest face on the screen since Sandra Dee, but less debauched than Sandra Dee always appeared, what with her Bayonne accent.

Gibbs' Dad and Gibbs' own reluctance to have her date a team member are soon overcome. The obstacle is perfunctory. We've already seen Lowe's manly chest and buns of steel, which are pretty revolting, but we get the merest glimpse of Cynthia Gibbs' far more graceful nudity. She can't act but it doesn't matter because Lowe can't act either. That doesn't stop them from being beautiful people.

Patrick Swayze, on the other hand, gives a convincing performance as an experienced player. I've always admired Swayze, a dancer, singer-songwriter, horse breeder, who trained at the Joffrey Ballet -- and was from Texas. Died a way we don't want to die.

Best performance award goes to -- envelope, please -- Eric Nesterenko as Lowe's Dad. It's not a bravura performance. It's a reassuring one. He has the same sympatico quality on screen that Richard Farnsworth once had, or that Werner Herzog has now. If I were to spill the beans to someone, I wouldn't mind if the listener were someone like Nesterenko. Of course that's his screen persona. In real life he may get his kicks pulling the wings off flies.

This isn't any masterpiece of film making. You can pretty readily call the shots. But it's better than I'd expected it to be, which may or may not be saying much since my expectations were pretty low to begin with.
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An insult to our game.
Jennifer (casperj_17)2 September 2001
As a Canadian, and a hockey fan, I was insulted by the style of this movie and how poorly our Canadian game was potrayed. I don't want to ruin this movie for anyone, however it is 15 years old & fairly predictable. So, we have an American teenager who is a complete wuss playing in a nothing hocky league who goes to Canada to play junior. He manages to play well, score with the coaches daughter, leave his team because his friend/teamate gets severely injured, comes back for the "big game" & scores a hat trick (3 goals) no less to win it. Then, he fights the toughfest goon in the league in a stick fight??? And wins??? That whole scenario actually happening is as about as believable as Keanu Reeves French Canadian accent, and Patrick Swayze as some hard core hockey player. Albeit, junior hockey is pretty rough, there are more fights, however, I do not believe there is such a thing as a stick fight, nor do you ever see a coach jump into the stands & fight with a fan,and it is a rarity to see a skilled player who is not a fighter, engage in a fight with a total goon and win. Hockey wise, this movie blows. And as for the love story, what can I say accept that it is fromage 80's. This movie is watchable, but you can't help but feel embarassed for the people who are in this movie.
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Fairly generic if watchable hockey film
mnpollio16 September 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Back in 1986 prior to the opening of this film, some press was spilt about the level of dedication "pretty boy" actor Rob Lowe was going to for the title role, such as bulking up a bit for the role and the extensive training to make the hockey scenes as authentic as possible. After all that preparation, it seems a shame that the end result is a predictable largely generic feel-good sports film set on the ice. Lowe is the title character, who in a whirlwind of activity becomes a force to be reckoned with on the ice. And I mean whirlwind - in the space of 24-48 hours Lowe leaves home, arrives in the city, is seduced by his mature landlady, gets on the wrong side of a brutal hockey player, wins a spot on the team, gets caught with his pants down by the coach's daughter Cynthia Gibb, subsequently starts a flirtation with her, is hazed by the team members in a rather humiliating fashion and wins the respect of veteran player Patrick Swayze. One can accuse the film of much, but being boring is certainly not one of them. There are things that work well in the film. The hockey scenes seem authentic and rousing, even though there is rarely ever any doubt about where the film is headed. Lowe and Gibb share a certain amount of chemistry and the camaraderie among the teammates (including an unknown at the time Keanu Reeves) feels accurate. Swayze is also fairly solid in a typical role of semi-mentor. Unfortunately, the film is hampered by its formula. There are certain steps that it needs to hit by rote and it is at best moderately enjoyable to see it hit them. Part of the problem rests with the leading man. At the time, Lowe was dismissed as little better than a Teen Beat sensation, which is a bit unfair. However, even his most ardent Fans must admit that Lowe fares much better in ensemble pieces (The West Wing, The Stand, Brothers and Sisters) where his shortcomings can be muted than he does as a leading man, where his lack of charisma starts to come into play. Despite his hard work, Lowe never seems completely believable or at ease in the central role, which has a tendency to throw the film off its stride. Yet there are still reasons to watch. Hockey fans will enjoy the on-ice action, romance fans will probably find something to like in the relationship between Lowe and Gibb, and Lowe fans will have the guilty pleasure of seeing him in what has become his essential nude scene - embarrassed and trapped in a public hallway in a filled to capacity jockstrap while being ogled by Gibb. Any of those aspects are certainly worth a painless couple of hours to take in the film.
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Prismark108 July 2016
Youngblood is a derivative sports film starring Rob Lowe as an American farm boy who travels to Canada to play junior Ice Hockey.

It is a kind of story that features his new team mates humiliating him in an initiation ceremony but they all later bond as they frequently indulge in puerile humour. Youngblood quickly gets seduced by the cougar landlady who does this with all the ice hockey players staying with her, he also flirts with the hard nosed coach's daughter, clashes with a brutish player of an opposing team, which leads to a team mate getting a serious injury leading to a crisis of confidence and conscience among our hero. Youngblood runs back to his farm where he is toughened up by his family and he returns just in time to the important end of season game.

The film is a slice of mid 1980s cheese with lots of Rockyesque overtones. It features some rising talent such as Patrick Swayze as well Keanu Reeves, who would one day jump out of a plane together and fight for a parachute.

It is a shame that the film lacks heart and conviction. Lowe also appears to be too bland, cast more for his sex appeal which must be the only reason for that jockstrap scene.
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