‘Woodlawn’ barely passes for generic

By Jacob Pierce |@JacobPierce1_DE |Daily Egyptian

Sports films can be one of the best genres to tell a good story because of the personal tales already occurring in athletics. It can also be full of stereotypes, awkwardly placed themes and uncreative ideas.

“Woodlawn,” directed by Andrew Erwin and Jon Erwin and starring Caleb Castille and Sean Astin, tries to be different than other football and Christian movies, but falls for all the same problems.

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It is the 1970s and Woodlawn High School is one of the first schools to integrate black and white students. With this comes an integrated football team. And while the team has problems at first, a local religious man makes everything right.

The rise of a talented running back and the team coming together has given the entire town hope that racism will be nonexistent one day.

“Woodlawn” shows the same exact plot, themes and ideas as “Remember the Titans,” but with more emphasis on God and less on originality. 

Movies like this should be simple — people are angry, dislike each other, bonding happens and finally everyone comes together. This is not creative, but it’s at least a start.  

However, the movie skips steps. There is no bonding, there are barely even characters disliking each other. 

The film gives one quick religious speech and every individual miraculously forgets about their hate.

The only good aspect of this film is in the filming of football action.

“Woodlawn” actually manages to be innovative in how the cinematographer shoots football. It is gritty, realistic and personal.

Every scene feels like it is taking place on a battlefield, and every touchdown and tackle makes the viewer feel like he or she is there, an idea the rest of the film should have tried. 

Stars: 1.5 out of 5

Jacob Pierce can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @JacobPierce1_DE. 

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