Gridiron Gang on ST Movies Plus on StarSat

Gridiron Gang

Growing up on the wrong side of the tracks in the hood is tough. When you’re surrounded by people who don’t value personal- growth or responsibility, your only heroes tend to be exemplars of criminality. It’s very easy to lose sight of right and wrong and end up a danger to yourself and to others.

Juvenile detention centres (juvie) are where criminals go who simply aren’t old enough to go to prison yet. End up here and you’re so far down the rabbit hole that you’re almost guaranteed to end up dead or back in prison when you leave. Camp Kilpatrick is a juvenile detention centre known for its inmates who have trouble responding to authority, being members of a team and accepting criticism.

Sean Porter (Dwayne Johnson) is a detention camp probation officer who’s seen a way out, and has an idea on how to instil discipline and good character into those under his auspices: football. Team sport is generally very good at teaching discipline and cooperation, but it does something far more important to those with nothing to live for: it gives them purpose. Life isn’t just about getting through another meaningless day with your pride intact, but now it’s also about winning. To win you need to work together, improve yourself and learn from your mistakes, the very things these kids need to do the most to get out of their situations.

You’d think that the management of the joint would jump at the chance to help the kids under their care, but they’ve seen so many kids come and go, worse for wear, that they’ve become disillusioned at the prospects of rehabilitation. The only way they were going to let Mr Porter try his plan was if his job was on the line if he fails. With everything on the line he pours his heart and soul into coaching these kids with the hope that they turn out OK at the end of it.

If you like your feel-good movies with a big dose of real then this is the film for you. Based on a true story, this is a tale that, by the end, will not only inspire you to become better in your own right, but to help those who need a little more encouragement than you do.

12 May | Sunday | 19:50 | ST Movies Plus | Ch 100