An ambitious young football star is trapped in a dying mill town--unless his gridiron skills can win him a way out.An ambitious young football star is trapped in a dying mill town--unless his gridiron skills can win him a way out.An ambitious young football star is trapped in a dying mill town--unless his gridiron skills can win him a way out.
This is one of Cruise's first films and it is a lot less glossy than many of his star-driven projects now, it's a lot more rough and ready than he would let it be if he made it now. It is a very simple story and a very short film - it basically shows a group of friends trapped in the town who have dreams of more but must overcome obstacles to get to college. Cruise must overcome the team coach's dislike for him to get a recommendation, Penn finds himself with a pregnant girlfriend who he must marry, Paul Carafotes finds himself drawn into crime to make ends meet. The lesson of the film is that it's difficult to break a cycle where you're in an industrial town and are expected to go into the same type of work as your father etc.
The most interesting thing about this is how young all the actors are! We've all got used to their faces now and it's weird seeing how young Cruise, Penn and Lea Thompson once were. The story is OK but is a little clichéd and is all a bit tidy towards the end. The football action is not exciting but I suppose is a muddily realistic representation of small town school sports. The performances are good considering the young cast and Chris Penn and Craig T. Nelson provide the two best roles. Cruise is a little too overplayed and brings a bit too much teenage anger and angst to the role.
Overall it's an interesting film, a little clichéd but OK. Personally I found it a little boring and didn't really care what happened to Cruise but it's not too bad.
- bob the moo
- Nov 23, 2001