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The Replacements movie review

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The Replacements

Big league footballers, portrayed as a mob of spoiled, avaricious, prima donnas, go on strike, leaving the fans and owners without their bread and circuses. The boss of the Washington Sentinels () offers the coaching position to a man he once sacked for arguing with a multi-million dollar quarterback, Jimmy McGinty (Gene Hackman).

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McGinty agrees to run the team, but it has to be his team his way. He brings in the usual rag-tag representatives of wannabes and never-weres -- the out of shape men who presumably represent the men in the audience.

Like Space Cowboys this is a story of post-teenagers trying to regain the illusion of teenage golden years in a society that raises youthful brawn over intelligence and wit (see also Varsity Blues).

The Replacements is a story of second chances, beating the bullies and the knockers and going for a win. It manages to rise above its cliche subject matter and predictable plot.

The football scenes, choreographed against a collection of upbeat popular songs don't rely on an understanding of USAmerican football to follow the story.

Unlike many other sports films, The Replacements manages to further the story through its dialogue and behaviours during the sports action.

Keanu Reeves plays Falco, the quarterback who lost big at the Sugar Bowl and never made it to the pros. This is his chance to do what he loves, a chance to face his demons, regain his reputation, and move on with his life.

Hackman, as the coach with a second chance gets an opportunity to demonstrate the advantages of wresting the asylum back from the lunatics.

Interspersed with the story of the footballers is the introductions of a new group of cheerleaders (what happened to the others?), another group of amateurs, many finding the cheering to be a change from lap dancing. Under the leadership of a long-time second-generation Sentinels fan with an encyclopedic knowledge of the game, the scantily-clad women indulge in increasingly outrageous behaviour to the great dismay of the Sentinel's opponents.

The behaviour of the cheerleaders provide some of the best laughs in the film.

Ultimately this is a bubble gum film, but it is a film with a point, played with enthusiasm and good humour and it makes for a good fun night out.

Send your comments or review by Ali Kayn
Due for Australian release November 16, 2000
For credits and official site details, see below
See also: Keanu Reeves also appears in The Matrix and The Devil's Advocate
Gene Hackman also appears in Absolute Power, Twilight, Antz
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Just the facts:

Title: Replacements (2000)
Written by: Vince Mckewin
Directed by: Howard Deutch
Produced by: Dylan Sellers, Steven Reuther, Jeffrey Chernov, Erwin Stoff
Edited by: Bud Smith, Seth Flaum
Director of Photography: Tak Fujimoto
running time:

The Players: Orlando Jones, Brooke Langton, Jon Favreau, Brett Cullen, Jack Warden
Official website: www.thereplacements.com
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: Published in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia : copyright © Festivale 2000 All rights reserved
Filed: 10-Oct-2000 : Last updated: 18-Nov-2000 : Last tested: 8-Jul-2014: Last Compiled: 08-Aug-2014
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