Reviewer: Max Everingham
This film may be headlined by a couple of blokes with names that sound more like astronomical anomalies, but The Rock and Xzibit do a great job in this familiarly formulaic rags to riches sporting story. New teacher loses faith with traditional teaching methodology when it’s clear it’s not working so adopts novel approach that initially encounters resistance but wins out in the end.
That’s not to give anything away, as it’s most certainly the performances in this movie that engage the viewer rather than the run-of-the-mill storyline. Ignore the marketing hype of this being (yawn!) a ‘gritty and inspirational’ tale – it’s neither, unless you happen to be incarcerated in a juvenile detention institution, I suppose – or some noble tale of redemption by winning sports contests, because, really, life just ain’t that easy, Mr American filmmaker.
Instead, just enjoy the natural dialogue, the relaxed but convincing acting style of our favourite wrestler-turned-actor Dwane Johnson and a movie that actually leaves you with a smile on your face.