Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Forever Strong - Netflix Instant Review

         If you’re not familiar with Rugby as a sport, then don’t worry because this movie will give you a great introduction to how the game is played.  Unfortunately, that is the only positive think that I could say about this movie. 

          Forever strong should have some familiar faces.  Sean Astin from the movie Rudy, Neal McDonough, best known from the TV Series, Boomtown, and Gary Cole, whose best work came from the TV series Midnight Caller.  

          The star of the movie is Sean Faris, who plays Rick Penning, a high school Rugby player who drinks and drives and crashes his car, leaving his girlfriend trapped in barbed wire.  After this brutal crash, Rick is sentenced to a Juvenile Detention Center where he continues to play rugby for the opposing coach who is against his father’s team.  Eventually, he will go to the Rugby championships and oppose his father’s team in the final game.  

           This movie is based on a compilation of true stories yet the plot and the story don’t seem believable.   The father abandoning his son even when his son his proven that he has been rehabilitated.  Then there are the friends of Rick Penning who don’t seem to think it’s a big deal to drink and drive.  They’re so upset that he refuses to drink and drive that his best friend picks a fight with him and leaves an open can of beer in his car for the police to find.  

           You would think that after a brutal accident that the friends would understand but instead, the kids are portrayed as being shallow and stupid, going as far as to try and injure Rick in the big game.  Rick is seen as a hero for his other team as he battles his former friends as his team tries to win the championship. 

           Rick of course has moved on with his life in the movie, having a new girlfriend.  Throughout the movie, he has no contact with his ex-girlfriend.  Maybe you can say that it was because the parents didn’t want him to have contact with her but when Rick is out of Juvenile Detention and seeing his former friends for the first time, there is his girlfriend, telling him that she forgives him even though she was involved in a brutal car accident.  

           It’s nice to believe in second chances for kids in high school but if this really based in individual true stories, then it seems to say that the kids have no problems and that drinking and driving doesn’t seem to be the worst thing in the world.  Based on the brutal accident that Rick had, you would think that there would be a different message for him and his friends instead of thinking about playing Rugby again. 

           As I said before, the good part of the movie was being able to have a good understanding of how the game of Rugby is played.  I have no trouble sitting in front of a game now after watching this movie. 

            For a movie that is supposed to be based in individual true stories, the movie seems to lose its mark and fails miserably.  I would give it two stars.  

Ron Hummer

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