|August 11, 2000|
|Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Action, Comedy, Sports Film
Rated PG-13 For Some Crude Sexual Humor and Language
“There are some who will say that your accomplishments today will soon be forgotten, that you’re not real players, that this isn’t a real team. And I say that’s bullshit. Because as of today, you’re all professional football players. You’re being paid to play, and I want to you to remember that, because the men whose places you’ve taken forgot that a long time ago. Let’s bring it in. Let’s play some football.”
Gene Hackman’s quote from The Replacements epitomizes all that the film stands for. When the NFL players go on strike, Hackman’s character, Jimmy McGinty is brought in to put together a team of “replacements” to finish out the season. In a comical mix of misfits and misguided players, the film plays on the notion of giving the little guy a chance to shine.
A team is only as solid as their quarterback. When McGinty brings in infamous college quarterback, Shane Falco (Keanu Reeves), who is found scrapping the barnacles off of rich people’s yachts at the beginning of the film. As Falco tries to find himself and hold his teetering bunch of self-indulgent teammates together, only then does he figure out how to pull himself out of the slump that was caused by proverbially dropping the ball in the big game.
Performances in the film come off a bit dated when viewed in the present, but the array of stars gathered for the film is rather impressive and adds star value at the very least. Orlando Jones, Jon Favreau, and Rhys Ifans are the most noteworthy of the supporting characters, while Brett Cullen rounds off the crew as the villain NFL star and Falco’s biggest competition.
The attempt at a love story is rather forced throughout the film, but allows a new perspective on an age-old tale. The ending offers a disheartening final scene with a lack of future endeavors for the audience to grasp onto. Sure, you do not expect the replacements to become full-fledged players again, but knowing that this film was all meant for something was a much needed, but missing, touch.
Gene Hackman speaks beautifully in the film and carries the film’s deep and “heart”-felt dialogue. The Replacements is not a hilarious movie by far, but it does have its moments and has enough of a well-known cast to keep you entertained. Plus, with Madden commentating the games, the actual football footage comes off authentic and completes the film effectively.
“You have a powerful weapon working for you. There is no tomorrow for you, and that makes you all very dangerous people!”