Varsity Blues

Starring James Van Der Beek, John Voight, Amy Smart, Ali Larter, Paul Walker, Scott Caan, Ron Lester and Eliel Swinton. Directed by Brian Robbins, Running time:110 mins

Hollywood apparently has to enforce the rule that once a year, everyone in the world must endure one movie about America’s national game. Football. Please allow me to get on my soap box about how itÕs called football when you are allowed use your hands!! (SOCCER IS FOOTBALL!!!!) Anyhoo, how do you think Hollywood would react if other countries forced their national sports onto them via cinema?? Imagine if the Australians enforced Aussie Rules, the Russians made a chess movie, or if Bollywood in India decided that they would make a two hour film about Kabaddi. If you donÕt know what Kabaddi is, I shall elaborate.

Two teams stand opposing each other on a field of play. A member of the attacking team, called the Raider, makes a “raid” into their opponents’ half of the playing field. During the raid, the raider must hold his breath. When his breath runs out, he must return to his side. To prove that he is holding his breath, he must say the word “Kabaddi” repeatedly. For a successful raid to be made, he must cross the line which divides his opponents’ half. If he doesn’t, he concedes a point to the opposing team. During the raid, the raider must try and touch as many of the opposing players as possible. Having touched as many people as possible, and still holding his breath, he must return to his side again, without being brought to the ground by the other team. If he gets back to his side of the playing field, all the players that he touched must leave the game, and the raider’s team gets a point for each of them. It is the goal of the opposing team to prevent the raider getting back to his side. If they succeed in this, they get a point.

Put this into context with Varsity Blues. Imagine if you were watching “Kabaddi – The Movie” and every time the malnutritioned fuckers held their breath, it was broadcast in slow motion. Instead of “24, 13, 18, hut, hut, hut!” the battle cry would be – “Kabaddi, Kabaddi, Kabaddi, Kabaddi, Kabaddi, Kabaddi, Kabaddi, Kabaddi, Kabaddi, Kabaddi, Kabaddi, Kabaddi…”


Why do directors feel that the rest of the world WANTS to watch their national sport? A sport that no other country competes in? A sport that, although we hold no interest in, we have to watch in slow motion?!

Varsity Blues is set in West Caanan. The whole town hinges its life around high school football games. Head coach Bud Kilmer (Voight) is obsessed with winning and pushes his players mercilessly. Mox (Van Der Geek) rebels when he has to play for the injured starter. Great surprise, eh? He has a difference of opinion with the coach and, as he gets more famous, he also falls out with his long term girlfriend (Smart). He flirts with a cheerleader (Larter) and gives all the ethnic minorities a chance to win. As youÕve probably already guessed, the whole season hinges on the final game. They win, obviously, and every one has learned something – apart from me.

The film would have been 30 minutes shorter if not for the slow motion shots. ItÕs worth watching the part where Ali Larter makes a dessert of herself. IÕd like to see here again in “Any Given Sundae” where she stars as a cheerleader who has lost her clothes but finds a dildo and a tub of whipped cream…enuff!!!!

To say the least, Varsity Blues is a movie that weÕve all seen before. The Best of Times, All the Right Moves, Necessary Roughness etc. ItÕs a shame because there is a fine cast (apart from Van Der Geek). Rent those other movies, but not this one. My advice is, if you want to watch the NFL – watch the NFL. Or just rent “The Waterboy” – it’s not great but the Fonz is in it!

Van Der Geek should shoot a movie about a washed up child star whose career is paved with bad movies and poor quality acting. Subsequently, he has to turn to drugs to get money… I see this movie happening. It’s called, “Dawson’s Crack (habit).”

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