This week on “Justin Hall At The Movies,” I’ll be reviewing Kevin Costner in the inspiring true story, “McFarland USA.
Movie Review McFarland USA
McFarland USA is another inspirational sports drama from Disney. However, unlike Remember the Titans or Miracle, this one deals with a cross-country track team. The movie basically follows the same formula as every other Disney sports drama, but somehow, it works.
Kevin Costner (Who better?) stars in the true story of Jim White, a hot-tempered coach who receives a position in the small town of McFarland, California in 1987 and leads a team of Hispanic-American students into a competition of cross-country running in order to make a difference in their lives. Maria Bello costars as his wife.
Like I said before, there isn’t a single cliché that isn’t used in the film. We get the obligatory team who think it’s a joke. We get the typical father who thinks his son is wasting his time. We get the typical adversaries who think the team are losers, etc. This might as well have been called Sports Drama Clichés for Dummies On Screen.
While the movie may be hampered with clichés, Costner is well within his comfort zone of sports-themed films. His best is still Field of Dreams in my opinion. He knows how to deliver motivating speeches and bring a real winning screen presence at all the convenient moments.
The movie is shamelessly corny and predictable from start to finish, but that’s also part of its charm. It’s a movie that chooses triumph over adversity and does it without being overly sentimental or forced. McFarland USA may not get the gold like it wants to, but it gets pretty close.
Grade: B (Rated PG for thematic material, some violence, and language.)
Until next time, White County, this is Justin Hall saying I’ll see you AT THE MOVIES!