I watched the movie Friday Night Lights the other night. It took me a while to get into it, and despite a bit of problematic story-telling, I was quite glad I watched it. For those who don’t know, the movie follows a Texas high school football team as they attempt to win the annual State Championship. Billy Bob Thornton plays the coach.
In the movie’s small-town Texas, high school football is king. The team is expected to go all the way, and nothing less will be accepted. The movie does a good job in conveying the pressures that such expectations have on the team. It focuses on a couple of the players (one in particular, the quarterback), and through their stories we get a good sense of how much pressure these kids are under.
The problem I have is that the story of the quarterback starts off, gets us interested in him, but then kind of gets lost as we montage through the game of the season, as they march towards the inevitable big showdown. I wanted the movie to remain focused a bit more on this character and felt a bit cheated that it didn’t. But this is a relatively small gripe, and one shouldn’t really criticize a movie for not being what one wants it to be.
Billy Bob, while having star billing, really doesn’t have a lot to do (although he does that well). There is a great speech at the end that he gives to the players. I really appreciated the message of that speech.
Kind of a quick, scattered review. A pretty good football movie. A pretty good sports movie. A pretty good movie.