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Next Goal Wins
  review by Bobby Blakey

Next Goal Wins - Beauty Shot BD Digital US_edited.jpg

Director, writer and actor Taika Waititi has an impressive resume under his belt including two outings in the MCU with Thor: Ragnarok and Thor: Love and Thunder, his Oscar winning Jojo Rabbit and one of my personal favorites Hunt For The Wilderpeople. His latest film, Next Goal Wins teams him up with Michael Fassbender along with an impressive cast including Oscar Kightley, Kaimana, David Fane, Rachel House, Beulah Koale, Uli Latukefu, Semu Filipo, Lehi Falepapalangi, Will Arnett and Elisabeth Moss. Could this film bring the inspiration and heart it promises, or will it miss the game winning shot?

Next Goal Wins follows the American Samoa soccer team, infamous for their brutal 31-0 FIFA loss in 2001. With the World Cup qualifiers fast approaching, the team hires down-on-his- luck, maverick coach Thomas Rongen, hoping he will turn the world’s worst soccer team into winners.


With Waititi involved I was instantly excited for this flick and add to that the underdog true story and I had high hopes for this flick. I am so glad that this film not only lives up to expectations but surpassed them on a lot of levels. On the surface this is a pretty by the number’s sports underdog story, but the quirky stylings of Waititi make it just something more.


This film is such a good time and brings so much heart with all of it coming from the cast of the team and the culture that is infused into the history and story. Where it could fall into that standard trope, it’s the cultural spotlight that really made me love it even more. Fassbender is fantastic, bringing the pompous arrogance of the character’s initial persona to life without making him all around dislikable. AS he moves through the story the standard changes and fun plays out with him bringing so much joy and redemption to

himself and the team. Even with it being by the numbers at time, it still works to perfection.


The fun of the team brings this film home. Every one of them is hilarious, joyful, sweet and all-around perfection. While Fassbender is so good here it doesn’t work without this team, and they are the heart and soul of it all. Of all of them, my favorite is Oscar Knightley’s Tavita. He is just so sweet and hilarious in every scene and kind of the glue that holds everything together. This film is just so good and brings everything together to sheer enjoyment. This might be my favorite Waititi films since Hunt For The Wilderpeople.

In addition to the film this release offers up bonus content including a deleted scene and featurette taking the audience behind bringing this story to life. Hit the field and grab your copy of Next Goal Wins available now on digital and then on Blu-ray and DVD on February 27th from Searchlight Pictures.

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