By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
By Claire Lawton
By Kiernan Maletsky
By Anna Merlan
Kicking around the film-fest circuit since 2000, this football film (soccer, actually, but we are in Scotland) is the quintessential sports film, complete with a ragtag team of small-timers sniffing the big time, an aging vet (Jackie McQuillan, played by feature-film newcomer Abby McCoist) seeking redemption on and off the grass and a big-game finale that finds old managers (Robert Duvall, faking a Scottish brogue, and Brian Cox, using his real one) hoping old grudges will play out on the field. Director Michael Corrente (Outside Providence) is a savage ball striker with terrible aim; every time the movie threatens to score (say, the tender scenes between Jackie and his soccer-obsessed son and estranged wife, played by Kirsty Mitchell), it veers just wide of the goal. It's hard to tell who's more miscast: Duvall, who must think all Scots are incomprehensible; Michael Keaton, as the American owner of the Kilnockie Football Club threatening to move the team to Dublin if it doesn't win the title; or Cole Hauser as yet another Yank tending goal, just barely. (Corrente's vying for Bill Forsyth lovability, down to the Mark Knopfler score that recalls every one he's ever done, but the director's no hero, local or otherwise.) Worse, it suffers from Wang Chung Syndrome, mentioning its title several times throughout the film; gee, wonder if they'll ever get their shot at glory? Not bloody likely.
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