In small-town Texas, high school football is a religion. The head coach is deified, as long as the team is winning and 17-year-old schoolboys carry the hopes of an entire community onto the... See full summary »
James Van Der Beek,
Odessa, Texas, is a small, town in Texas. Racially divided and economically dying, there is one night that gives the town something to live for: Friday Night. The Permian Panthers have a big winning tradition in Texas high school football, led by QB Mike Winchell and superstar tailback Boobie Miles, but all is not well, as Boobie suffers a career-ending injury in the first game of the season. Hope is lost among citizens in Odessa, and for the team, but Coach Gary Gaines, who believes that "Perfection is being able to look your friends in the eye and know you did everything you could not to let them down", is somehow able to help the team rise up from the ashes and make a huge season comeback. Now on their way to state, the Panthers must go out and be perfect, because they may never matter this much for the rest of their lives. Written by
Reunites Billy Bob Thornton and Lucas Black, who starred in Sling Blade together 8 years earlier, when Black was 13. See more »
In the State Championship game, when one of the Permian "Mojo" Panther players makes an interception the commentator says "He returns it inside the Mojo 5." The "Mojo 5" would have actually been the opposite side of the field. He should have said inside the Carter 5. See more »
I rented this movie primarily on the strengths of Billy Bob Thornton. I think he takes on consistently good roles. This movie had a lot to offer in terms of plot. Rural Texas is big on football, often more so than on academics. The plot point came out in the movie, but seemed to be glossed over to a large degree.
One of the subplots also deals with the relationship between a father, a past high school football champ, and his son who has the opportunity to become a state champ. It is a contentious relationship, but the movie failed to explore that relationship beyond a superficial level.
Perhaps the greatest distraction in this film is the awful directing by Peter Berg of the football action sequences. They were very unrealistic and "over the top" so that they seemed more like a John Madden video game than a high school football game.
The acting was good and the plot was sufficient to prevent this from being a truly horrible film. If you are a sports movie fan, there is a likelihood that you will like this movie much better than I did. However, I was expecting a little more realism and a little more character depth than I saw in this movie.
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