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review by Bobby Blakey

Woody Harrelson has been jumping between genres like a madman in the best possible way. He has been taking on some great roles recently and knocking them out of the park. His latest, Champions teams him up with Something About Mary and ME, Myself and Irene co-director Bobby Farrelly as well as a great cast including Kaitlin Olson, Ernie Hudson, Cheech Marin, and Matt Cook. Could this film bring the sports comedy with enough heart to make it work or will it fail to make the shot?

Champions follows the hilarious and heartwarming story of a former minor-league basketball coach who, after a series of missteps, is ordered by the court to manage a team of players with intellectual disabilities. He soon realizes that despite his doubts, together, this team can go further than they ever imagined.


This is the second sports film with Harrelson working with Farrlley who previously co-directed him in the hilarious Kingpin and with it bringing more basketball harking back to White Men Can’t Jump it has all the makings for another great comedy. The film is a remake of the 2018 Spanish film of the same name and brings all the heart, laughs and fun you get from the trailer.


While it doesn’t bring some of the more raunchy comedy the Farrelly’s have been known for, it does go all in with the fun and makes for a great film. The story is familiar as we have seen it numerous times before, but it’s the journey with Harrelson and his outstanding cast of special needs actors that makes it shine on all levels. They have crafted that is not only fun and touching to watch, but one that allows these young actors to just be who they are and let the fun and joy of watching them take hold.


There isn’t any time they are poking fun of them or anything, but instead letting their unique personalities shine through to bring a team of actors that you can’t help but smile watching them do their thing. Harrelson is great here interacting with them and still bringing a down and out persona to the mix that you never dislike, but know he has got to get it together. It’s the journey of him finding his own place while being thrown into a group of people he thinks are more lost than him, but in reality know right where they want to be and who they are.


I loved every moment of this movie and it had me laughing out loud numerous times. My personal favorite was seeing the player known as Showtime played by Bradley Edens every time he takes his over the back shot and celebration dance whether he made it or not. This is the kind of film that everyone should see and just let the infectious joy take over.


In addition to the film this release offers up bonus content including deleted scenes, commentary, and numerous featurettes taking fans behind bringing the film to life.  Grab your copy of Champions available now on digital and streaming on Peacock then on Blu-ray and DVD on May 2nd from Universal Home Entertainment.

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