"We're not losers, we're better than that!" It's clichéd and formulaic and there isn't much suspense or tension because we know from the outset that this football team in some respect will ultimately triumph, but despite its faults The Gridiron Gang mostly works, mainly due to the sterling and quite genuine performance by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
Gridiron Gang's rousing plot revolves around the rebirth of a group of colorful, rebellious young felons at a California juvenile detention camp. Branded as "losers" by the world around them - both inside and outside the center - they are gradually molded into a winning team by their hard-driving probation officer/coach, Sean Porter (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson).
Sean has been frustrated at the lack of inspiration by the County officials in trying to rehabilitate some of the worst offenders, most are ex-gang members and some are murderers. Sean himself is an ex-jock, once a star football player, who while coping with his dying mother is also frustrated by the revolving door recidivism and increasing mortality rate of his teenage charges.
Under the wary and somewhat suspect gaze of his superiors, he forms a ramshackle football team, which is soon competing against local high schools. Their first match is a disaster, but somehow Coach Porter keeps them together as they all become proud "Mustangs" with extraordinary skill as they train for their final game against a mean championship team given to dirty play and racial epithets.
The film doesn't hold a lot of surprises, but it's well-made and well-acted by the plucky supporting cast who are based in real-life players such as Willie Weathers (Jade Yorker) and his rival-gang foe, future defensive star Kelvin Owens (David Thomas). The best thing about Gridiron Gang is the performance of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. He is engaging, affable and wholly believable as a former football star turned officer in a juvenile detention center. And he's also such a MAN!
Although, at times Porter drives them a bit too hard, you are always sure he as the best of intentions as he tries ardently to show them that it's far harder to play aggressively as a team in a game like football than it is to live as a gang member where the rules are often defined by pulling out a gun and shooting somebody. He figures teaching kids discipline and teamwork just might keep them out of trouble.
And, since this is based on a true story, we learn his instincts are right. Riveting football sequences save some of the movie from its trite leanings. Even though the movie is formulaic, Gridiron does manage to entertain, whilst also making a powerful point about the faults inherent in the penal system, particularly for youths with hopes of rehabilitation. Mike Leonard January 07.
Gridiron Gang "Gridiron Gang" is the true story of Sean Porter (The Rock), a detention camp officer who tries to make something out of the kids in the camp at which he works. He attempts to instill discipline, honor, teamwork, and pride through football. He feels that this will help to keep them from going back to their old lifestyle once released. He wants to help them break the cycle of violence. Initially met with some resistance, he manages to schedule a season and help the kids make something of themselves.
While being a typical "feel good" sports movie, "Gridiron Gang" feels less clichéd than the majority of these kinds of films. The acting is good all around, and The Rock is well suited for the role of Porter. It is truly remarkable what the real Sean Porter accomplished. I liked this film more than I anticipated, and recommend it. Not my usual type of movie.. This movie had everything you need to be a great movie. It has a point, it has meaning and much more. I went to see this with a friend and I don't usually like this kind of movie, but my friend decided to see this, so I went with them. I really liked it. I would recommend it for everyone.
After I went to see it, my best friend went. She really liked it. If you get the chance to watch this movie, I wouldn't pass it up. It has a really good story line, and though slightly predictable in parts, the other parts hold some suprise. I really loved this movie. It's one of my favorites.