Kicking and Screaming (2005)
Directed by: Jesse Dylan
Premise: A soccer-dad (Will Ferrell) takes over the coaching duties of his son’s team and gradually becomes corrupted by the desire to win.
What Works: The film is at its best with Mike Ditka playing himself as Ferrell’s assistant coach. Will Ferrell is again a likeable buffoon, the type of character he excels at playing. As his mild-mannered behavior gives way to a win-at-all-costs attitude, the film gets better and funnier. There is an interesting relationship between Ferrell and his very competitive father (Robert Duvall), who coaches an opposing team.
What Doesn’t: The relationship between father and son does not really go anywhere and keeps recycling the same scene over and over again. The film is very predictable, using a formula seen in many kids-sports films from The Bad News Bears to The Mighty Ducks but the kids in this film are not nearly as colorful or as interesting. There are opportunities for this story to go off in new directions but the film never uses them.
Bottom Line: Kicking and Screaming is a likeable film but its not a great film. Fans of Ferrell’s shtick and the Chicago Bears will enjoy it.
Episode: #52 (May 15, 2005)