The Replacements

"Weak"

The Replacements Review


I wish I could have been in the pitch meeting for this ridiculous notion of a sports film. I bet it was some hotshot Warner Brothers agent with an dark Armani suit and manicured fingernails saying, "It would be a very light comedic version of Any Given Sunday, and we could throw in the Hoosiers angle with the casting of Gene Hackman as the tough but determined coach. Throw in that hunk of a guy Keanu Reeves and a cast of wacky characters and poof! We'll have a hit on our hands!"

The Replacements is a hokey mistake of a football film, a mishmash collage of one-dimensional characters, rampant stereotypes of cultures and races, cliched emotional statements of purpose, and Keanu Reeves wishing for The Matrix sequel to start principal photography. The story is loosely based around the pro football players' strike in 1987 and a rag-tag team of replacement football players taking up the reins of professional play for a variety of teams with names like the Washington Sentinels. Keanu Reeves stars as Shane Falco, a has-been football college player looking for redemption. Gene Hackman dons a fedora like Tom Landry and speaks with gusto like a certain coach in Hoosiers.

Rounding out the cast includes Swingers' Jon Favreau, 7-Up pitchman Orlando Jones, gruff owner Jack Warden, and cast of wacky and unknown actors who do amazing jobs of portraying perfectly stereotyped characters: the drunken Welshman, the overweight Sumo wrestler, the black convict, the violent cop, and the dumb, dumb cheerleaders.

This bunch of nobodies try to make something of themselves by taking the team to the season playoffs with unbelievable football plays, Gene Hackman yelling and asking himself where the hell Dennis Hopper is, Keanu Reeves looking for his body double making him look good on the football field, and cheerleaders hired from the local strip club making the girls from Coyote Ugly look like waitresses from Denny's.

The usual things happen like clockwork. The hero rises from the ashes of failure, the team comes together in unity, the hero falls in love with a conventional love interest, the football games are won with enough schlock value to make the most ignorant of audiences cheer and clap, and the cheerleaders make you want to go home and watch late night movies on Cinemax.

It's also a shame when decent directors with good movies under their belts go to seed and become television and sequel hacks. Howard Deutch, who was behind the camera for two of the best films of '80s - Pretty in Pink and Some Kind of Wonderful, has since been doing Grumpier Old Men and Caroline in the City episodes. Obviously the problem is that without a good script, any director will fail in the end.

Sports films are strong vehicles for cinematic glory, gritty tales involving the honor of men and the valiant efforts taken for the ultimate goal of victory in the face of insurmountable odds, the rise and fall of gallant heroes, and stories of dramatic gusto painted with blood and sweat on the battlefield of life.

The Replacements offers none of this.

Brooke Langton stars with her replacements.



The Replacements

Facts and Figures

Run time: 118 mins

In Theaters: Friday 11th August 2000

Box Office USA: $44.0M

Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures

Production compaines: Warner Bros.

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 40%
Fresh: 43 Rotten: 64

IMDB: 6.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Shane Falco, as Jimmy McGinty, as Annabelle Farrell, as Clifford Franklin, as Jamal Jackson, as Daniel Bateman, as Nigel 'The Leg' Gruff

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Chips Movie Review

Chips Movie Review

It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the...

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Advertisement
Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.