7.5/10 A sports drama, biopic and faith based film all rolled into one, “American Underdog” genuinely surprised me by telling the true story I didn’t know much about while simultaneously having an emotionally strong script to help propel the material. When Kurt Warner played his 12 seasons in the NFL (entering into the league long after most professional players do), I was relatively younger and didn’t pay as much attention to his career until he came to the Arizona Cardinals, which is my team since I’m born, raised and live in AZ. Even though I followed the end of his career, I knew nothing of how hard it was for him to get there, his past struggles, his family life or his faith. While most modern faith based movies tend to be extremely cheesy and eye rolling with C-list celebs or no name casts, this film intrigued me because even though I knew it was coming from the directing team of the Erwin Brothers, who make Christian films, the bigger name cast told me that if a cast of this caliber signed on, the script and story must be good enough to attract such talent. I ended up being correct in my assumption as Warner’s story is a fascinating, inspiring and uplifting one. Zachary Levi is perfect as Warner and a completely likeable leading man who I hope we get to see more of in upcoming films. Anna Paquin hasn’t had a role this sizeable in a major motion picture in quite some time but she reminds us of her talent as well (“The Irishman” was solid but her talent was wasted in that film). Even the child actors impressed and the balance between everything going on in the film with each plot and subplot was juggled nicely. This is easily the Erwin Brothers’ best film and one that religious and non-religious folks alike can enjoy, especially if you have an interest in football and/or underdog stories. My only complaints were that some of it is a little predictable, parts do border on a little cheesy (mainly in the first half of the film) and the score felt uneven to me with parts of it sounding like it came from a “Tron” film. Minor complaints aside, I didn’t expect to get nearly as emotional as I did while watching this and Warner’s story is truly one that deserves to be told. With so many bad movies out right now and even many of the good films end up rather depressing, it is a breath of fresh air to see a true, inspiring story about overcoming obstacles, never giving up on your dreams and having something to believe in in a well-acted, well made film.

#WarnerBrothersPresents / #TheLiteralBlindSide / #TheKurtLocker / #MusicByArenaFranklin / #TheSilenceOfTheRams / #ThePartingPass

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