Projections - Movie Reviews

Kicking and Screaming

Will Ferrell, Robert Duvall and Mike Ditka

Rated: PG
Reviewed by: Chris  
Release date: May 13, 2005 Released by: New Line Cinema

Will Ferrell plays Phil Weston, a mild-mannered vitamin salesman, who has spent his whole life trying to measure up to his macho father (Robert Duvall).

His dad owns sporting goods stores and coaches the local kids soccer team, which Phil's son, Sam, is a member. That is, until grandpa trades him to the Tigers, the worst team in the league.

The Tigers are in last place, most likely because the kids are more interested in goofing off and having fun on the field than actually learning how to play and win. The team is also in need of a coach, so of course, Phil takes on the job, mostly to show his competitive father that he can coach a winning team.

He quickly discovers however, that he's in over his head. So, he enlists the help of his dad's neighbor and nemesis, played by Mike Ditka.

Ditka puts the kids through some rigorous military-like paces and adds his Italian butcher's kids to the roster, both of whom are soccer playing whizzes.

He also turns the easygoing Phil into a screaming, out-of-control coach by introducing him to the joys of caffeine. Phil guzzles down so much of the stuff, he even brings the coffee maker onto the field so he'll never run out.

Duvall is funny as the sly competitive grandpa and Ditka is surprisingly good playing off of the kids and Duvall. Ferrell, who can make me laugh just by standing still with a stupid look on his face, is great at being the big nerd softie. Even when he's playing someone unpleasant, you know there's a nice guy underneath it all.

The kids will enjoy watching the youngsters on screen, there are big kids and very little ones, kids that play well and those that play not so well but do the best they can while having fun. And, adults will enjoy Duvall and Ditka's rivalry as well as Ferrell, who is both inept and lovable.

  Frank Chris Tony Jim Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
Kicking and Screaming   B- C- C-       C

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