Literary cinematic boredom on the Baltic with with a suspiciously small thought displacement.
A nice and impressive story that, however, has a contrived screenplay. In the high school scenes, Aldis Hodge comes across a bit like a goofball in a classroom comedy. The theme of systemic injustice is conceived in such a way that it only tangentially touches on racism in general terms. Despite the film’s overall formulaic nature, however, Brian is undoubtedly a charismatic and interesting character that actually works in this near hagiography of a victim of American justice.
Peter Berg made a film that captures the cruelty of high-school football, a sport in which adolescent players can tough the sky, reaching a level that they will never come close to again. Berg attempted to combine a character study with the narrative/filming style that we know from Michael Bay and his blockbusters. The restless, dynamic camerawork with changing perspectives, collages and ellipses halfway works, like the post-rock noodling of Explosions in the Sky, which seemed to belong to a slightly different film. The protagonists don’t hold onto the ball long enough for us to really get to know them, their stories are sketchy to the point of being formulaic and the film itself is not very well constructed dramatically. Some themes (for example, the racial tension between the Panthers and Cowboys) are utterly half-baked. With respect to the football scenes, however, it ranks among the best and most realistic, if only the linebackers and running backs didn’t have to fly through the air like Superman. There is something appealingly ’90s about Friday Night Lights, but as a drama, it doesn’t quite get into the red zone. And the end zone remains far out of reach.