'Gridiron Gang'


Gridiron Gang
Directed by Phil Joanou
Columbia, opens September 15
Former pro wrestler Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, who always made a good show of selling fake violence, stars in Phil Joanou's well-meant trifle as an idealistic corrections officer who starts up a football team at a juvenile detention center in L.A. Never mind the obvious parallels to The Longest Yard and Remember the Titans; what we get here is one huge, indigestible sports movie platitude. The troubled, belligerent teenagers are variously appealing but the movie is another overdose of inspiration, pure and simple, about Winning and Losing. As The Rock himself would have to acknowledge, it means to be the Charging Double-Leg Spinebuster of football-coach hero stories.

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