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AFTRS short 2014
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Thursday, September 18, 2014 - Edition No 915 
Reckoning

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REPLACEMENTS, THE

SYNOPSIS:
When American pro football players go on strike, Edward O’Neil (Jack Warden) the owner of the Washington Sentinels brings back veteran coach Jimmy McGinty (Gene Hackman) on a deal which sees McGinty in total control of team selections. Without regular players to choose from, McGinty chooses a team of players no one else wants including a prisoner (Michael Jace), a sumo wrestler (Ace Yonamine), a chain smoking Welsh kicker (Rhys Ifans) and a maniacal cop (Jon Favreau). To lead them, he brings in Shane Falco (Keanu Reeves), a one-time top college quarterback who dropped out of sight after one disastrous game. As if Falco doesn’t have enough problems on the field, his eyes are soon wandering off the field, in the direction of cheerleader director Annabell Farrell (Brooke Langton).

"The underdog overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds is a staple movie theme - and particularly a sports movie theme. From Rocky to Major League, audiences respond to the tale of 'ordinary guys' striving to overcome. It doesn’t even matter if they don’t succeed; but we cheer all the harder when they do. The Replacements has all these qualities in spades. It’s also a film that has absolutely no original ideas, a ho-hum romantic sub-plot, plenty of clichés and it lays on the emotion with a trowel. But, damn it, I couldn’t help but be sucked into it. I was even caring whether the misfits would win their games! Howard Deutch (late of Grumpier Old Men) directs the film with such slickness, it’s hard not to be drawn in. Real credit though belongs to his editing team, as they do an outstanding job of bringing the colour, pizzazz and brute force of American football to the screen more successfully than many other attempts. Of course, forget about things like character development and plot subtlety. Keanu Reeves actually makes a very convincing football player; his slow drawl and sculptured physique are just right for the part. Gene Hackman tries to be philosophical as the coach, which doesn’t quite come off. The remainder of the team is largely your stock-standard comic characters; although Jon Favreau stands out in a role far removed from the cocktail scene of Swingers. Despite myself, I found The Replacements enjoyable. It’s an easily digestible chunk of candy from the Hollywood machine - but it doesn’t pretend to be anything else."
David Edwards



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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 1

TRAILER

REPLACEMENTS, THE (MA)
(US)

CAST: Keanu Reeves, Gene Hackman, Orlando Jones, Jon Favreau, Brooke Langton, Rhys Ifans

DIRECTOR: Howard Deutch

PRODUCER: Dylan Sellers

SCRIPT: Vince McKewin

CINEMATOGRAPHER:

EDITOR: Bud Smith, Seth Flaum

MUSIC: John Debney

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Dan Bishop

RUNNING TIME: 118 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: November 9, 2000

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Warner Home Video

VIDEO RELEASE: May 2, 2001







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