It’s a known fact that Americans love their underdog sports stories. Much as I’m not fond of sports, I do enjoy a good sports movie every now and again. I was cruising through Netflix the other day and came across one I hadn’t seen in years. One that I really enjoyed as a kid. One that I realized is now definitely old enough to drink. That was a weird revelation there. Anyway, let’s have my review of The Mighty Ducks.
Gordon Bombay (Emilio Estevez) is a tough-as-nails, victory-focused attorney. When he gets pulled over for a DUI while celebrating his most recent case, his life takes a downward turn. He’s sentenced to community service and told to go coach a local peewee hockey team. Bombay isn’t a fan of hockey ever since he missed a goal that could have won his team the state championship. Needless to say, coaching a peewee team is his idea of his own personal Hell.
The team he’s sent to coach is terrible. They’re rowdy, undisciplined, and mouthy. In a word, they’re kids. Bombay can’t relate to them and certainly lacks the patience to coach them. It also doesn’t help that his early coaching style mimics the harsher style of his peewee coach, Coach Reilly (Lane Smith).
After getting a pep talk from Hans (Joss Ackland), the man who owns the sporting goods store, Bombay tries a different tactic to try and get the ragtag group of kids to turn into a cohesive team. Of course you can tell how that turns out. I don’t need to go into those details.
In the meantime, one of the members of Bombay’s team, Charlie (Joshua Jackson), decides to set him up with his mother. Kids were so adorable back then, right? You can also imagine how that turns out. This is a Disney movie.
Bombay rediscovers his love of hockey. The kids discover their inner winners. Audiences discover a fun, heartwarming sports tale.
I’m a fan of this movie. I understand that it’s a hokey hockey film, but it holds up surprisingly well. Sure, it’s got the obligatory fart joke and other kid-friendly bits of humor. Still, there’s a lot of fun to be had in the movie and it makes me happy. So, there’s that. It’s cheesy, it’s ridiculous, and I love it all the more for it.
Now, I’ve got some further thoughts about the movie. Just stick along for the ride.
As I was watching the movie, I realized that the cast was a lot more diverse than the casts of a lot of the movies aimed at that demographic these days. Just look at those kids up there. Sure, it’s not a full spectrum of color, but there’s some representation in there. Not only that, but there are girls too! The girls are also pretty darn good at hockey too, even the angry figure skater.
It’s sad that it feels as though we’ve gone a few steps back in terms of representation since this movie came out. This movie is twenty-two years old, people. Twenty-two years old. We should have progressed so much further than we have now. It’s awful that most of the movies these days star young, attractive males. Spread it around to some other folks for a change, okay? It’s about damn time.