Sports dramas are kind of my thing. And National Champions, which centers around a college football quarterback who begins a players strike hours before the National Championship game, should absolutely be my kryptonite. It’s got everything I need — everything I want. It just never hits all the right spots to make me care the way I should.
The movie is a great combination of sports and politics. It’s entertaining, too, I wasn’t dreading it or counting the seconds till it was over. But the movie doesn’t actually feel like the kind I’d re-watch, which I do with a lot of my favorite sports movies, because I’m a big sports person and there’s a level of comfort in the genre.
For me, however, sports are about emotion. I watch them to feel, and that sometimes means feeling pain — more often than not, actually. But there’s that moment of happiness, every once in a while, that makes it all worth it.
To change the game, you have to risk everything. Stephan James, J.K. Simmons, and Uzo Aduba star in the new #NationalChampionsMovie trailer. Only in theaters December 10th.
National Champions is much more clinical than it should be, at least for me. It’s not because of the performances, which are top notch. It’s because there’s something about the story that never quite clicked with me. It doesn’t mean that the story it’s trying to tell it’s not worth it. it’s just that perhaps the story deserves another medium — a sports centered one, instead of an entertainment lens.
One that actually understands the story its trying to tell.
Then there’s also the fact that as you’re trying to connect with the main story, and you do connect, sometimes, there are other, meandering plot lines that keep slowing down the main story. The twists aren’t great, and the dialogue is iffy, at times, but all of those are things I could look past, if I actually felt something.
Ultimately, it’s a writing issue, nothing more, nothing else. I didn’t hate National Champions, but I also didn’t love it. And that’s a damn shame, all things considered.
National Champions is in theaters now.
Three days before the college football national championship game, star quarterback LeMarcus James (Stephan James) and teammate Emmett Sunday (Alexander Ludwig) ignite a player’s strike declaring they won’t compete until all student-athletes are fairly compensated. With billions of dollars at risk and legacies on the line, the stakes could not be higher. Now, with only hours until kickoff, the head coach (J.K. Simmons) and various power brokers (Lil Rel Howery, Tim Blake Nelson, Andrew Bachelor, Jeffrey Donovan, David Koechner, Kristin Chenoweth, Timothy Olyphant, Uzo Aduba) must race against the clock to protect or destroy the prevailing collegiate athletics system.