Reviewed Apr 13, 2012
Adam Cook’s review:
An American movie about rugby was never going to turn out well but the sport side of the story is actually the strongest aspect of this sanctimonious piece of clichéd tripe. It is a horrible and vile little film where every single line of dialogue seems to come from some ridiculously trite self-help book. I could just post up the entire script but here are some from the IMDb quotes page:
Coach Larry Gelwix: Son, when are you gonna dig down and first-string the real Rick Pinning?
Detention Boy: So its kinda like a mix between Soccer and Football?
Rick Penning: Actually its kinda like Rugby.
Coach Larry Gelwix: If you want it easy, play Lacrosse or Football, or join the Marines. Gentleman welcome to Highland Rugby.
The story is drivel, about a 17-year old kid who gets sent to a detention centre after a DUI conviction. He ends up joining his rival rugby team, much to the annoyance of his one-note father, and then he learns a lot of important life lessons along the way. There isn't anything inherently wrong with these types of movies but they need to show at least a hint of finesse and restraint. Unfortunately, the filmmakers for Forever Strong are like a bulldozer with their stomach-turning platitudes and finger-waving moralising. I was struggling to keep my sanity through most of the film but when one of his teammates dies in a drunk driver accident ("I don't need a mentor", "Then how about a friend”) it tipped me over the edge into a state of apoplectic rage. The film is woeful before this point but it goes on a nosedive of such epic proportions it almost becomes a work of sheer brilliance.
All the performances are earnest to the point of constipation, the direction is poor and the music is rubbish. The only thing this film is missing is for one character to say, "Kid, be the difference".