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Kicking and Screaming (2005)

Cast: Will Ferrell, Will Ferrell, Robert Duvall, more...
Director: Jesse Dylan, Jesse Dylan
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Universal Studios
Genre: Comedies, Sports Comedy, Sports, Sports Comedy
Running Time: 95 min.
Languages: English, Spanish, French
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
    see additional details...

Immaturity and poor sportsmanship once again find their firmly established place in children's athletics (at least among the adults) in this sports comedy. Phil Weston (Will Ferrell) is a tightly wound suburban father who had a competitive streak worn into him by his father, Buck (Robert Duvall), who never seemed to feel that his son measured up. When Phil's son joins a Little League soccer team, Phil signs on as coach, only to learn that Buck -- who also has a ten-year-old son these days -- will be coaching a team in the same league. Determined to show his father he can do the job, Phil impresses upon his young charges that winning is the only important thing, and soon gains a few enemies as he humiliates not only the kids on his own team, but their opponents as well. Directed by Jesse Dylan, Kicking & Screaming also features Kate Walsh and legendary football coach Mike Ditka. The screenplay was authored by Steve Rudnick and Leo Benvenuti (The Santa Clause) prior to the latter's death in 2000. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Truth in the title by underdog October 12, 2005 - 10:19 AM PDT
1 out of 2 members found this review helpful
It's sad that this Kicking and Screaming is being dropped upon unsuspecting viewers on DVD while Noah Baumbach's wonderful debut of the same name has yet to make it to disc. (But with the latter's new film drawing buzz, that likely will change.) At any rate, I had the misfortune of seeing this unfunny "comedy" on a plane and was still tempted to walk out.

I usually enjoy Will Ferrell's antics but here he's given little to do. The filmmakers also make the grave mistake of featuring former NFL coach Mike Ditka, giving far too much screen time to someone who should have, at best, been in for a few minutes as a cameo. He's not an actor, and the script is utterly terrible, so the results are as painfully lopsided as a World Cup matchup between Germany and the Lesser Antilles. As a soccer player in addition to film buff, I wanted to cut this film some slack, but the soccer scenes themselves are so poorly contrived and the Bad News Bears-does-soccer plot not only a cliche but rendered lifeless on screen that it was hard to cheer. (Although the two Italian boys who become ringers for the squad are quite good.) This is a turgid exercise in "high concept Hollywood gone awry" and I can only recommend that you skip it in favor of either Bend It Like Beckham, the original Bad News Bears, or the world soccer highlights show on sports cable.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 4.83)
12 Votes
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