MY ALL-AMERICAN (4 out of 10) Written and Directed by Angelo Pizzo; Starring Aaron Eckhart, Finn Wittrock, Robin Tunney, Sarah Bolger, Michael Reilly Burke, Juston Street, Richard Kohnke; Rated PG for "thematic elements, language and brief partial nudity"; Running time 118 min; In semi-wide release November 13, 2015.
This football story from the writer of "Rudy" and "Hoosiers" is exactly what you'd expect coming from him. Unfortunately, it's nowhere near as good as those two other real-life sports stories and instead employs too many hackneyed cliches that you could almost play Bingo watching this film.
Depicting the real story of Freddie Steinmark, defensive captain of the Championship 1969 University of Texas Longhorns, you can predict basically how this story is going to end from before you walk in the theater. He's considered "too small" to play football, even in high school, so he has to out-perform, out-train, and outplay every other player.
His indomitable spirit . . . blah blah blah. . . sports movie cliches. . . University of Texas. . . head coach played by Aaron Eckhardt. . . blah blah. . . hard word and gumption.. . . blah blah. . . tragedy, love, triumph.
It's too bad, because this story deserves a better film. The cast tries hard and does a decent job, it is just handled about as subtly as a linebacker hit at full speed.
And? If your favorite college football team has any sort of rivalry with the Texas Longhorns, you will not want to watch this. It plays like a weird mashup of Hallmark/Lifetime film, EPSN drama, and University of Texas recruitment film. But if Austin is near and dear to your heart and you know all the words to "The Eyes of Texas Are Upon You," you will find yourself at home here.
But it's still not a great film. It's worth watching if you truly love the subject matter, but otherwise, your mileage may vary.
4 out of 10
Tags: Aaron Eckhart