Reviews

Kicking And Screaming

3

Championship film, Premiership extras – viewing the Kicking And Screaming add-ons makes you wish some of the outtakes, ad-libs and tomfoolery had made it onscreen ("Haven't I seen you before? Don't you dance at Manjob?"). In fact, Will Ferrell's gift for placing the right gag, in the right place, at the right time, gives the extras serious legs. You could watch them over again and still find yourself cracking up.

Ferrell is high school sports dud Phil Weston, a man desperately wanting to look competitive in front of Pushy Dad, Buck (Robert Duvall). The problem is, the old man is a born winner and "Phillie-Boy" just can't match up. Fast forward a few years and Buck is the championship-winning coach of the Gladiators, a kids' soccer team, and Sam, his grandson, is the chief bench-warmer. After Buck trades Sam to bottom-of-the-table whipping-boys the Tigers ("I'm not coaching soccer, I'm building men!"), Phil picks up the whistle and clipboard and vows to shape his boy's new team into title challengers.

The usual sports movie schlock takes to the field, but thankfully it plays with a slightly different formation to the other names on the team sheet. It's a sort of 3-3-2-1-1 to Bad News Bears’ 4-4-2 – best exemplified by the neat touch of including the dangers of too much caffeine, with coffee virgin Phil losing his Java-cherry, quickly followed by his marbles. Off-the-ball.

Film Details