Tuesday, February 2, 2010

“Leatherheads” – Not what I expected.

If you are a football fan and hope to see a lot of football in this film, you will be disappointed. If you are hoping to learn something about the early days of professional football, you’ll be even more disappointed. If you are hoping Renee Zellweger somehow regained her “Jerry Maguire” looks, well, that’s just stupid.

I have to admit, there isn’t much to say about this film, other than it didn’t meet expectations. I expected a lot of things out of this movie (reread the previous paragraph for the first three) that just didn’t happen. I expected Zellweger to be incredibly annoying; she wasn’t. I expected John Krasinski and George Clooney to be funnier; they weren’t. I expected…you’re right. I should stop listing things.

The biggest disappointment for me was that I was tricked by the previews for this film. I thought Krasinsky was going to be the guy from nowhere who ends up saving the league. As it turned out, he was the uber-hyped college kid/war hero who ends up saving the league, kind of. Before I go on, you should know I’m about to spoil this movie, so if you want to be disappointed on your own, stop reading.

Anyway, Krasinsky is recruited by Clooney, who is trying to keep the league alive, betting that Krasinsky’s popularity will be a boon to the league. The league’s popularity skyrockets to the point that Congress decides they need to appoint a commissioner to the league. Yes, you read that correctly. I don’t know a lot about the history of the NFL, but I’m pretty sure this didn’t happen. My exact reaction to this part of the film was, “huh?” Do they really expect me to believe that in just a couple of months, a dying league exploded so fast that Congress felt the need to get involved? This makes no sense.

As I mentioned before, I was also tricked into thinking this movie would show a lot of football. Even more so, they talk about all of the shenanigans they pull during the games, yet the only one we actually see is the trick play in the big game at the end of the film. Relax, I won’t ruin that part for you. The new commissioner warns Clooney not to pull anything, which is the first time we even hear about it. All of a sudden, I felt ripped off that they didn’t show us any of those stunts.

On the bright side, Clooney kept this film from being a total loser. He’s kind of like Peyton Manning willing his team to win when they are down twenty-one with five minutes to play. He just won’t let it happen. One of the things that Clooney does better than anyone is facial expressions. I don’t know if he practices in front of the mirror everyday (where are those outtakes?), but he’s one of the few actors who can deliver lines without actually saying anything.

Other than that, this film was forgettable. If you want to learn something about football and, more importantly, how lazy the writers and continuity crew were for this film, check out IMDB’s goofs for this film. There are quite a few obvious things that got missed, including Zellweger’s lack of attractiveness.

Rating: You should ask for eight dollars back. It’s not completely worthless, but you will probably be too bored to notice.

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