Crooked Arrows


Crooked Arrows
Directed by Steve Rash
Sports Studio
Opens June 1, Regal E-Walk Stadium 13

Former Superman Brandon Routh neither looks nor convincingly acts the part of an upstate New York Native American in Crooked Arrows, a flaccid fable in which Routh's casino owner Joe learns to honor his ancestors and "the Creator" through lacrosse. In order to get reservation council approval for his business's expansion, Joe agrees to coach a ragtag Native American prep-school team. Totemic talismans, "animal spirits," and eagle allegories are all treated with solemn reverence by director Steve Rash, whose film is predicated on a rote lesson about the preeminent value of heritage and the baseness of capitalistic greed. Despite referring to the tribe as "my people," Routh is wholly miscast, yet his ill-fitting presence is part and parcel of the plotting's general illogicality. Rash's celebration of cultural history also involves pitting Joe's team against a squad of evil rich white kids who, it's implied, have stolen lacrosse from its originators and rightful owners. Meanwhile, the repeated employment of hoary sports-movie tropes and Chumbawamba's "Tubthumping" prove unpleasant reminders of a past with which no one needs to reconnect.

My Voice Nation Help

It is always nice to see Native American folks doing something other than working at casinos or selling cigarettes. I'm especially amused by your sarcastic parenthesis. Name ten tribes without google, then I'll be impressed by your "review". P.S. Cherokee doesn't count as everybody claims to be a quarter Cherokee. Its become the equivalent of "...some of my best friends are black."


I am shocked that Nick Schager, a Columbia journalism graduate, would not like a film where the elite prep school kids are the bad guys. I am equally shocked that the phrase "return lacrosse to our people" would be misinterpreted by Mr. Schager as a suggestion that it was "stolen" by rich white kids.

This movie is about pride and Native heritage, a subject which Mr. Schager clearly has little knowledge, despite his willingness to make judgement.

Is this plot familiar? Yes it is. Is a reminder of Native history and tradition "unpleasant" or something with which "no one needs to reconnect?" No. all should be familiar with these traditions and see that there is a way for the many cultures in North America (or Turtle Island as Natives call it) to blend, while maintaining independence.

Mr. Schlager, this is one review where you missed the target and instead grazed the backstop of bigotry and a narrow mindedness only found in the dark alleys of New York's Village. Would you like to celebrate the trade of beads for Manhattan in your next article? I suggest you silence this particular voice, as it is one filled with unpleasantness and one which no one who is enlightened wants to connect with in the first place.

Oh, and finally, if you knew anything about lacrosse and Native heritage, you would know that lacrosse is a gift from The Creator to the Native people, and played for the amusement of Native ancestors. It is loaned to non-natives. Even ESPN recognizes this, as it did this past weekend on the NCAA championships.

James StevensGraduate of elite prep school, New England college and southern graduate school


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