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

New Movies

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

The 2012 Canadian comedy Goon was one of those surprising little films that snuck up...

Detroit Movie Review

Detroit Movie Review

After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to...

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Good news: Steven Soderbergh's well-publicised retirement from directing only lasted about four years. He's back...

American Made Movie Review

American Made Movie Review

An enjoyably freewheeling tone and Tom Cruise's star wattage combine to make this an entertaining...

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

Advertisement
The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

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.