This completely by-the-book feel-good sports drama sticks in your head about as long as a Nike commercial. No, I take that back. Nike has had some pretty good advertising campaigns the last few years.
Robert Duvall plays a stodgy owner of a lowly Scottish “football” (translation: soccer) club. This beloved local team has been around 100 years (and maybe so has Duvall’s character of McLeod) but their American owner (Michael Keaton) is threatening to move the team to Ireland (blasphemy!) if they don’t shape up and win it all this season. To accomplish this, the owner brings in a slightly-past-his-prime hotshot Jackie McQuillan (Ally McCoist) to boost the team into the big leagues. But Jackie is McLeod’s estranged son-in-law! Will they get past their personal tension, and pull together as a team and a family?
Oh! But thank goodness for lovely Scottish scenery, which is very green and pretty. It almost makes up for the fact that Duvall speaks through the whole movie like he is sucking on a sour lemon (which ironically gives him the heaviest and most unintelligible accent of any character in the film). And there is a pleasant, though forgettable soundtrack by Dire Straits’ Mark Knopfler to lull you into a Sunday-afternoon-watching-The-Game-for-eight-hours-straight stupor.
Come to think of it, a Sunday afternoon of watching nothing but sports will probably give you more drama and excitement than this very typical but harmless sports film.