Kicking and Screaming
Teevee and movie funnyman Will Ferrell (Melinda and Melinda, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy) drops down in class with this failure built upon that idea where you take a bunch of misfit kids in a sports collective (in this case, soccer) and put them together with a flawed adult (Ferrell’s Phil Weston) for some laughs, and hey, if we’re not careful, we might learn a thing or two. Right. Along for the paycheck is Academy Award-winning Robert Duvall, but he’s just doing Robert Duvall shtick, just shy enough of “I love the smell of napalm in the morning” to avoid self-parody. This flick has a few promising comedy ideas revolving around coffee addiction, the speedy butchering of a side of beef, and traumatic interactions involving children, but when we realize the introduction of football great Mike Ditka into the film seems like a welcome burst of energy, it makes us wish we were watching The Bad News Bears or even fuckin’ Ladybugs for that matter. Soccer loser-teammates Erik Walker, Elliott Cho, and the giftedly goofball Steven Anthony Lawrence remind us that children are indeed the future—young Lawrence needs a star vehicle pronto, before he becomes a potentially unfunny fugly teen.