review by Bobby Blakey
I love a good sports flick, but most of the time they focus on the rising player or pressures of the big game. The latest, National Champions looks to take a different approach to the sports world and features a great cast including Stephan James, Alexander Ludwig, J.K. Simmons, Kristin Chenoweth, Timothy Olyphant, Uzo Aduba, Lil Rel Howery, Tim Blake Nelson, Andrew Bachelor, Jeffrey Donovan, and David Koechner from Angel Has Fallen and Greenland director Ric Roman Waugh. Could this flick bring that something special to look behind the league or will it fumble the ball?
National Champions follows star quarterback LeMarcus James and teammate Emmett Sunday who ignite a player’s strike declaring they won’t compete until all student-athletes are fairly compensated three days before the college football national championship game. With billions of dollars at risk and legacies on the line, the stakes could not be higher. Now, with only hours until kickoff, the head coach and various power brokers must race against the clock to protect or destroy the prevailing collegiate athletics system.
This is an interesting approach to the world of college football and the business side of it. I honestly expected something else in regards to the direction it was heading, but found it a lot more engaging than I thought it would be. I dig the cast involved so had no doubt they would be great and they were, but it was really more of the story and angles they went trying to make this game happen.
There is a powerful message here in regards to what they are fighting for and some great moments, but as a whole I think the message gets lost in the execution. It’s far from a bad movie and actually pretty interesting,
but they never really dig deep into the truth behind their fight to really give it any weight. Instead it ends up being more of a game of cat and mouse between the players and big sports business. At times I was fully sucked in, but then it wouldn’t really go anywhere other than more twists. This would have been fine had it really packed that hard punch at the end, but even then it kind of just ends abruptly.
I didn’t dislike this movie, actually quite the opposite, but was hoping for more. It was interesting enough in how both sides approached the situation and the levels they would go to get their way, but in the end just never did much to drive it home like it could have.
In addition to the film this release features bonus content including sports trivia, behind the scenes feature and more. Decide for yourself and grab your copy of National Champions available now on digital, Blu-ray and DVD from Universal Home Entertainment.