Several players from different backgrounds try to cope with the pressures of playing football at a major university. Each deals with the pressure differently, some turn to drinking, others to drugs, and some to studying.
An aimless young man who is scalping tickets, gambling, and drinking, agrees to coach a Little League team from the Cabrini Green housing project in Chicago as a condition of getting a loan from a friend.
In small-town Texas, high school football is a religion. The head coach is deified, as long as the team is winning and 17-year-old schoolboys carry the hopes of an entire community onto the gridiron every Friday night. In his 35th year as head coach, Bud Kilmer (Jon Voight) is trying to lead his West Canaan Coyotes to their 23rd division title. When star quarterback Lance Harbor (Paul Walker) suffers an injury, the Coyotes are forced to regroup under the questionable leadership of John Moxon (James Van Der Beek), a second-string quarterback with a slightly irreverent approach to the game. "Varsity Blues" explores our obsession with sports and how teenage athletes respond to the extraordinary pressures places on them.Written by
Steven Chea <firstname.lastname@example.org>
On Moxon's running touchdown, in the first series after he takes over from an injured Lance, Moxon hurdles a defender on the way to the end zone. In high school football, hurdling a defender is a penalty on the runner that would have negated the touchdown. See more »
An enjoyable, entertaining diversion; what a movie is supposed to be.
This is an unpretentious and entertaining movie about high school football in a small Texas community. OK, so we know who will win the Big Game, and that the Hero won't sell out to the mean and selfish 23-District-Championships-Coach (Jon Voigt). The movie is well paced and a pleasant diversion; (many in the audience actually applauded at the climactic scenes in the final moments).
What I find most interesting about the fact that this film was produced in association with MTV, is that for a Network ostensibly dedicated to iconoclastic themes and attitudes (i.e., anti-establishment and counter-culture), this movie is remarkably "old-fashioned" in the adherence to values espoused by the hero. After he becomes the starting quarterback, he resists the come-ons of his predecessor's beautiful girlfriend, and he will sacrifice his own scholarship to Brown University (an Ivy League school in Rhode Island for those of you not familiar) rather than let another player be used and potentially physically damaged by the unscrupulous coach.
Some of the scenes are reminiscent of other football films: The Longest Yard, All the Right Moves, North Dallas Forty, and so on, but I guess there are no real surprises these days after decades of the same essential stories in Hollywood. This is not just a "football movie" or a "guy movie" however, and it's well worth a look.
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