LIFE IS A CONTACT SPORT. PLAY. OR BE PLAYED.
As veteran football coach Tony D’Amato (Al Pacino) is struggling to maintain his grip on the team, his star player (Dennis Quaid) is injured. A really good sports movie knows how to make the most of the game, how to show the kind of commitment that fuels it. The problem with director Oliver Stone’s take on American football is that he’s in dire need of a story; all he’s got is a rollercoaster of blood, sweat and testosterone, featuring a lot of familiar faces and going so fast there’s no time for substance. It’s fun, but overlong.
1999-U.S. 162 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by Oliver Stone. Screenplay: John Logan, Oliver Stone. Cast: Al Pacino (Tony D’Amato), Cameron Diaz (Christina Pagniacci), Dennis Quaid (Cap Rooney), James Woods, Jamie Foxx, LL Cool J… Charlton Heston, Matthew Modine, Ann-Margret, Aaron Eckhart, Lauren Holly.
Trivia: Stone later re-edited the film, removing some sequences and replacing them with others; that version runs 157 min.