‘When the Games Stands Tall’ Could be More Inspiring

Michael Chiklis and Jim Caviezal star in
“When the Game Stands Tall.”
 (Affirm Films)

This weekend, the faith-based film, When the Game Stands Tall, hits theaters. It is the true story about the De La Salle High School football team’s 151 winning game streak from 1992-2003, their devastating loss against a rival team and how they reclaimed their status once again. As a faith-based movie, we know that there is more to the point than just that, but that is the premise. The movie could have been the next Hoosiers. It has similar storylines and features a great cast. However, the end result is less spectacular and it is a little difficult to put into words why.

At the end of the screening I attended, audience members actually said, “Good game!” when the credits began to scroll up the screen. That’s because the game footage is actually very good and you feel like you are part of the action. Just what you would want in a sports movie. But you need to have the human element as well to have the story feel well-rounded. Through the movie features all of the “big” storylines that happened off the field including the coach’s heart attack and a shooting of one of the team’s players, things that would affect how the characters interact with each other, but the movie sort of glosses over those events. Together, these elements make for a great story. However, they don’t necessarily make a great movie.

Coach Bob Ladouceur is portrayed by Jim Caviezel who became famous for play the role of Jesus in The Passion of the Christ. For an actor who is able to emote so much emotion portraying Christ it’s amazing how restrained he is portraying this coach. He hardly ever smiles, he almost always speaks in monotone and doesn’t appear to be a force of inspiration in the least. It may seem mean to say so, be he appears to be disinterested throughout the whole movie.

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